Babelpod — Line-In and Bluetooth Input for HomePod →

April 1, 2018 · 11:19

Andrew Fafen, on his blog:

The HomePod has great sound quality, but right now it’s limited to playing audio from Apple Music or AirPlay clients like the iPhone or iPad. But what if you want to play audio from other sources? Ideally the HomePod would have a line-in port, show up as a Bluetooth speaker, and support other streaming services like Spotify. But Apple decided not to include a line-in port, hasn’t yet implemented Bluetooth speaker support in the OS, and hasn’t yet natively supported other streaming services.

Hopefully Apple will eventually address these shortcomings on the HomePod itself, but for now I’ve come up with my own solution. I’ve taken a Raspberry Pi Zero W […] and written software that takes audio input from line-in or Bluetooth and outputs it wirelessly to the HomePod via Airplay. I call it BabelPod since it acts as a universal translator between audio devices.

I love solutions such as this one, because while they shouldn’t be necessary — the HomePod should have Bluetooth audio streaming support and a line-in port included — they do solve the problems of some people.


DIY HomeKit with Raspberry Pi and Xiaomi Robot Vacuum →

March 9, 2018 · 12:18

Markus Rudel, on his blog, got inspired by my Raspberry Pi and Homebridge article, and decided to set up his Xiaomi Robot Vacuum to work with HomeKit:

I own a Xiaomi Robot Vacuum. This robot can be controlled by the Xiaomi app, however, I don’t like it very much. The idea is to control this robot over HomeKit. To use HomeKit, I use an old Raspberry Pi 1B. The software will be HomeBridge.

While adding your vacuum to your HomeKit setup might not seem as if it makes any sense, since there are little to no benefits from being able to just turn it on or off, it most probably could be automated, e.g. setup to clean the house when everyone leaves it. My cousin has one of these and since he doesn’t have a strict schedule for when he’s at home or away, he’s constantly frustrated by the fact that the vacuum turns on when he doesn’t want it to. Automating this would make most of his problems go away.


Using a Raspberry Pi Zero W to Add a Camera and a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2 to HomeKit via Homebridge

March 1, 2018 · 15:04

I recently purchased a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2, to avoid having dirty air in my apartment. Unfortunately, this product does not integrate with HomeKit. I am generally averse to having my “connected” home accessible from the internet, but I did want to use the HomeKit automation features. Setting this whole thing up just for one air purifier did seem like a lot of hassle, until I found out (from Steven Troughton-Smith) that you can get a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a camera module, which also works under HomeKit. Two-in-one? No need to ask me twice.

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