Can I have one device set up with HomeKit and Alexa at the same time e.g. a motion sensor, or a smart plug?

I must stress I am asking whether it is possible to set up the device with the two services at the same time.

Yes, it's perfectly possible.

As and example, I have a set of IKEA Tradfri lights that are controlled by Alexa and Google Assistant at the same time. If I had an Apple device I could add Homekit support at well.

The limiting factor is which of the systems the device manufacturer chooses to support.

Yes, providing the device provides it's own control infrastructure. The model is (roughly):

  • Device connects to a gateway
  • Gateway exposes an API which supports a variety of 3rd party systems
  • Control messages are sent from each system which are unaware of the other systems

The exception to this model might be where a device uses one of your system hubs to provide it's connectivity. In this case, you're relying on one integrator exposing locally connected devices to a competitor.

You can refer to this question for a general idea of how devices connect together. An endpoint may have a direct network connection (for example if it has WiFi), in which case many services can establish a connection. If the endpoint only uses bluetooth or ZigBee then some sort of hub is needed. Of course, this hub can be a device you provide if the protocols are open.

  • Sorry, I’m just asking for clarification: are you implying a given product must have a hub to set it up with both systems? I apologise for my ineptness - I haven’t had a smart home before – Jeremy Oct 26 at 16:02
  • By the way, I have a HomePod and am looking to build an Alexa out of a raspberry pi and a few other bits. – Jeremy Oct 26 at 16:03
  • No, you don't need a hub, but the device needs to be internet connected. Added a bit to the answer to try and clarify. It's all a stack of APIs, and whilst these are authenticated, it's unlikely to be limited to 1:1 at every point. – Sean Houlihane Oct 27 at 10:16

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