Homekit, Alexa, Google Home Bridge Review

Hello all! As you many of you may know that vera doesn’t natively support HomeKit integration and the Alexa skill is pretty slow to respond (at least for me). After doing some research about HomeKit support, I came across this bridge called the “Automation Bridge” made by Skaro, which claims to add HomeKit, GH, and Alexa support. I know that through the use of HomeAssistant you can get the same support but the setup is just a bit too advanced for me, and for many others as well. So I went ahead and ordered the unit, a bit pricey at $200, but why not give it a shot. When the unit came in I followed the simple instructions and within 30 mins I was using HomeKit. It supports lights, scenes, garages, and many others. A key missing device is alarm systems control. The response times are very quick when compared to using the vera native app or even the native Alexa vera skill. This unit has been pretty stable and the support from Skaro (the manufacturer) has been really good. The HomeKit UI is also much better looking and it is more intuitive as well. I have yet to try the Alexa skill but I am assuming it will react much faster to commands when compared to the native vera Alexa skill. So for anyone looking for better Alexa and GH support, or HomeKit support in general I do highly recommend the Skaro Automation Bridge. Let me know if you guys would like to me to try out anything else with this unit!

https://www.skaro.com.au

Ill second this, i have a homepod as well and turning things on and off is a breeze and so much quicker than the native apps.

Ive sent a service request looking for support of the DSC alarm app… they were proactive in getting back to me for some more info… hopefully they follow it up.

actually I’ve been having some issues with light switch statuses not showing up correctly in HomeKit, and my bridge occasionally freezes and requires a reboot. Their support for this issue has been pretty bad.

Pabla, has the Vera performance improved in the last few days since Vera push a new skill out to Amazon. Mine has considerable with about 90% success rate for commands being executed…only a few failures.

I am still using the automation bridge skill to send commands to my Vera from Alexa. I?ll give the Vera skill a try again to see if it?s any better.

@pabla
Same issue here. Dimming works sometimes and I have had several lockups where I have had to reboot the unit. On & off seem to be ok.
Had the unit for approx a month, contacted support, somebody named tony told me to send a ticket and I have heard nothing since.
You have just reminded me to contact him again :slight_smile:

Yea I?ve opened many tickets with Tony (he seems to be the only tech support guy). I asked for a return and he said he?ll get back to me within the next 3 days on an update on the situation. Seems Like this problem is prevalent with Vera users. Hopefully they have a fix soon, because HomeKit is very useful, at least for me

Did he say he will check the logs and get back to you?
I?m starting to wonder if that is his generic answer…

Yes that?s exactly what he said :o . I feel like if he saw this thread he?d underhand that were all having the same problem and are getting fed up.

He Replied to me again today explaining why the Vera is behaving like it is as he has limited control and visibility of its control API, he is continuing to investigate and will get back to me, as least he seems to be doing something :thinking:
I?ll let you know if we have any progress.

So a little update, Tony applied some patches to my bridge to prevent it from crashing. It seems like that has done the trick, but he still has yet to fix the light status issues.

He did the same for me 2 weeks ago and mine hasn?t crashed since either. I stopped using the Vera a week ago and moved to another zwave controller, the automation bridge and HomeKit are now working really well. Everything now works exactly as it should, commands are instant, dimming is spot on, scenes from HomeKit are faultless. The issues have completely gone since changing platforms. Tony has been great supporting the bridge and I would now have no hesitation recommending it.

What controller are you using with the bridge now?

Just curious if you guys got the Skaro Home Bridge to work smoothly again.

I would really like to use Siri for my Vera control.
The $200, is a big pill to swallow but I?m considering it if it has been running smoothly for you guys.
(I know I could do a RPi home bridge but would like to just get something of the shelf)

It doesn’t crash anymore. But the device statuses do not update correctly still. I’ve been bugging Tony (the director)for the past few months for a fix and I either get ignored or told its being looked into. Siri control works okay, sometimes doesn’t work. Its just that the device statuses never really update correctly.

As mentioned in another thread - I took a different approach. Using Home Assistant https://www.home-assistant.io/ allowed me to have both Google Home and Alexa interoperability without too much pain to set up. . . .

Here is what our Home Assistant - along with our Google Home Mini and our Alexa - can do with our Vera Secure: https://youtu.be/Gl9zMRMy9DQ

Has anyone noticed that updates appear to have stopped??

I’m wondering if it’s been abandoned? Last time I contacted them about an issue I got nothing.