Homey Community Forum

[APP] Hiome - (almost) perfect occupancy sensors

Hello,
I’d like to introduce You to some very interesting occupancy sensors - Hiome and my app which provides Hiome support for Homey.

Link to AppStore: https://homey.app/en-us/app/com.hiome/Hiome/

What is Hiome?
Hiome is advertised as first TRUE occupancy sensors. To be honest - it’s very true. Unlike motion sensors, mobile phone wifi detection or BLE beacons/gadgets used by many of us to try to emulate occupancy sensing, these sensors do it for real!

How does it work?
Hiome sensors count how many persons are in particular rooms in the house. Yes! It does not only know if there is someone in a room but also knows how many persons are there! Hiome system consists of sensors installed in every door (or zone passage) plus a core which makes all the magic - receives signals from all the sensors and using built-in algorithms counts the people. Every sensor consists of 66 data points to detect people, directon of move (so if someone enters or exits the room), etc.

How does it work in practice?
I’m testing my setup for about a month and I have to say it’s working really well. Up to date I used different motion sensors (Aqara/Zigbee, Aeotec/ZWave) plus mobile phone wifi sensing plus some other techniques (e.g. if TV is on then probably someone is watching it). But it was very hard to use it for real occupancy sensing (e.g. the problem of timers with motion sensing). I really didn’t like especially turning off the lights after e.g. 30s of no-movement. If I go out of a room (e.g. toilet) I would expect the light to turn off immediately. Of course there are some possibilities to do it (like wasp-in-a-box algorithm), but they have many limitations. With Hiome it was really straightforward. Just after installing everything and after some simple configuration it… just worked. If I enter the room the light turns on immediately,. If I go out - the light turns off. It looks magically when you go through you home and the light goes with you - from room to room. Also you can use information about occupancy for other devices (e.g. increase/decrease temperature on your thermostat in a room depending on occupancy or persons count, turn on/off the music, close the door-lock if everyone goes out or let your vacuum cleaner do it’s job 10 minutes after everyone leaves).

Another thing is sensitivity which can be changed for every sensor. So you can choose to detect small children or pets or not to do it.

What about the accuracy of sensing?
It’s a very important topic. As many other sensors, hiome is not 100% accurate. E.g. if two persons go into a room very close to each-other, it may count it as one person. But there are some correction-algorithms built into the Core, which try to correct the results based on the events (e.g. it won’t allow the number of people in a room to go negative). Also you may use Homey flows to help Hiome with corrections. E.g. if you have a motion sensor in a room which detects motion and Hiome thinks there is no one there - you can send correction information to Hiome in a flow so it will know what to do.

So should I throw all my motion sensor to the garbage?
Definitely not. They may be used for many other purposes than occupancy sensing. E.g. I use Hiome for occupancy sensing, but it’s not always wise to e.g. turn on the lights depending on occupancy only. E.g. in bedroom - occupancy sensing would be good during the day. But at night when you sleep, bedroom is occupied, but you wouldn’t like the lights to be on whole the night. So after you go asleep (and set such a status in Homey) you can switch your flows to react e.g. to a motion sensor installed below the bed. When you stand up in the middle of the night the light would be turned on to 5%, then when you go from bedroom to the toilet Hiome occupancy sensing can be used to turn the lights in the corridor and the toilet to 5% also. But when you go back to the bedroom I would again use only motion sensing (because you want the light to be turned on only when you go to your bed, after you go asleep again you’d like your lights to be turned off).

Other minuses?
Hiome needs power. There are two types of sensors:

  • standard - powered by 5V microUSB
  • recessed - powered by any 3.6-12V DC source
    Also there is a battery pack sold for them, but it’s quite big and has to be recharged every 1-2 months (depending on usage).

In the beginning I thought it might be a problem, but to be honest, it was very easy to hide the cables in the door frames, under the wallpapers, furniture, etc.

About the app
The first thing I’ve done after taking Hiome into my hands was having some fun with MQTT (Hiome has MQTT, HomeKit, IFTTT and Hue integration built-in), but just after a day or two I started development of this app to have more possibilities and make it much easier to integrate the whole system with Homey.

In my app you can find most needed options for using Hiome in Homey:

  • occupancy sensing for every room (it’s shown as motion sensing - if the room is occupied, motion alarm is on for that room)
  • it shows how many people are there in a room
  • door status (open/close - as contact alarm)
  • battery status (if battery pack is connected)
  • maintenance actions to correct the number of people in a room (increase/decrease/reset/set)
  • flow support for all of the above
  • auto-discovery of all connected sensors

To do:

  • support for Hiome Core in a different than standard location
  • multiple Hiome Core support
  • device avaibility status based on last_seen parameter
  • additional sensor informations (like version number)
  • update sensitivity level from device settings and flows

If you have any questions regarding those sensors or the app itself - I’ll be happy to answer all of those.

You can read more about Hiome and order it from their official site at: www.hiome.com

Greetz,
Piotr

4 Likes

Very interesting topic. Heared about that the first time. Are you also using HomeAssistant and are able to send the information via MQTT and use it there? Would have some good use cases there aswell. How is the Hub looking like? On the Website it says only available for preorder. Do you alredy have it because of early access (Crowdfunding etc.)

Is shipping to europe uncomplicated?

Thanks in advance for your help.

I don’t use HomeAssistant, but Hiome has an MQTT broker built-in, so there should be no problem to connect HomeAssistant MQTT client (or any other MQTT client) to it.
Core looks like in this picture: https://homekitnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/hiome-core-nw-fi-768x427.jpg

Reg. preorder - it’s because they don’t have it on stock. They gather the orders and make small batches once a month I think. I ordered in the end of January and received it in the end of march.

There was no problem with shipping to EU (I’m located in Poland). They ship with USPS, so it was delivered by standard polish postman.

They only don’t have European power adapters, so they don’t ship any power adapters to Europe - instead they give free shipping costs. You just need a standard USB charger - so you may use any you might already have at home or buy new one. Core needs 5V/3A USB power adapter, wired sensors need 5V/0.5A, recessed need any power adapter between 3.6V-12V. To recharge power pack it’s preferred to use 5V/3A charger.

Piotr

Thanks for your answer, also wrote the support yesterday regarding shipping to europe (Germany in my case). Unfortunately I got the following response from them:

"Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship to Germany :frowning:

Germany is particularly strict about enforcing proper local certifications, which we don’t yet have for Europe. I’ll let you know when the changes!"

Interesting that you were still able to get it shipped to Poland. Maybe the laws aren´t as strict as here in Germany?

I have just received my Hiome kit (1 x core + 11 x sensors). Any tips on how to get it to work?
The core is being picked up by my router and assigned an IP. If I browse to http://hiome.local it says connection refused.
The main problem is Homey is not detecting any devices, neither door or occupancy.

Any tips would be welcomed.

Hello,
Usually hiome works under http://hiome.loal URL, but maybe there is something weird in your router or network configuration (e.g. domain set up and *.local does not work). If your router assigns an IP, try to get your browser to: http://HOME_IP - where HIOME_IP is the IP address assigned by the router. If it works, then let me know - Hiome driver for Homey uses also hiome.local address (that’s why it does not detect Hiome), but for your case it may be necessary to allow in the driver to manually specify the Ip address OR you may try to assign the name hiome.local in your router for that IP if possible. Just let me know and I’ll try to help you.

Piotr

Hi all,

Can this device also detect different persons? Like if I enter the room or if it’s my wife or kid/pet?

No, it only detects if someone moves below the sensor (and the direction of the movement), so it calculates the number of people in particular rooms. I think to detect different persons you need a camera with face recognition, I don’t know of any other way to do it.

1 Like

ah OK, I understand. Objects might not be well defined with 66 points. if it was build up with significant more points, maybe it could identify different persons, based on volume and shape., but on the other hand the detector is facing down and object shape is much harder to catch.

I have another question. I live in Sweden, but i cant select “other” country. how did you place your order from hiome.com?

I can see on their page in the cart: " Sorry, we are currently sold out.
Please check back soon when we have more inventory."

I will contact them and see what they say about shipping to europe / sweden.

btw, do you have the Hiome Door (Recessed) version as well? Does it work with your app? I wonder if you can have the power cable 10-20m long. regular usb cabels are maximum 5 meter, sometimes you can find 10m but not more.

Yes, I’ve got both - recessed and standard wired. With recessed I use standard 230V cable and just near the sensor I install 12V Power supply (like for LED strips). For standard wired there is a long cable provided with the sensor. I needed a longer one in one płace co I bought additional małe-female USB-A cable to connect it with the original one to make it longer.

1 Like

OK that sounds really good! More people should start to use this instead of motion detector with PIR technology.
I like the work you have done so far! Great work! I will happily follow your development.

Very strange! I have tried to reach out Hiome support but no response. They don’t have any stock available either.
I wonder if they are planning to close their business?

I’ll contact their founder to ask what is going on.

I just got an response. “The limiting factor is a global shortage of thermal sensor components due to the pandemic. We’re working on getting more parts”

I received today the same info from the founder… As we can see not only Sony has problems with PS5 but also Hiome with sensors :slight_smile:

Anybody any news on this? Keen to install these or something similar (as Hiome is still out of stock). Alternative is that I go for ‘regular’ motion sensors… but this seems to be such a better solution.

Seems they are still out of stock! We are now in June 2021. Been at least 6 month