Elgato’s smart hose attachment led the way (reviewed) with sprinkler integration in HomeKit earlier this year. Today, Rachio is announcing the first smart sprinkler controller ($229) with HomeKit integration.
After a simple set up process, users can control their sprinkler through the Home app or using their voice with Siri. You can now ask your iPhone or even your HomePod to turn on your sprinklers.
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Rachio implements the irrigation profile on HomeKit. You can use the Apple Home app on your iOS device to view watering zones and status, enable or disable watering, including customising how long the water should run for.
This means you can ask Siri to do things like ‘Turn on sprinklers’, ‘Stop watering’, or ‘Please water [zone name] for ten minutes’.
Unfortunately, HomeKit does not currently support automation or scenes for irrigation accessories. This is an Apple protocol policy and not a limitation of the Rachio integration.
Rachio is using software authentication to enable HomeKit support, so you don’t need to buy an additional hub or anything if you already own a Rachio 3 controller. Get the latest version of the Rachio app from the App Store, go to the More tab, tap Controller Settings and then tap HomeKit. This will generate a HomeKit code that can be typed into the Add Accessory screen in the Apple Home app.
Here’s how support in the Home app appears (via Rachio):
Owners of first or second generation Rachio controller equipment are out of luck; the company says those models do not have enough memory to support HomeKit. Customers need to use the Rachio 3 controller, currently on sale for $230. Find out more information on the Rachio website.