I’ve done a bit of integration with your API and it works well. I am primarily using it to enable “hard button” capabilities. For hard buttons I am using Insteon 8 Button Mini Remotes. These triggers programs in my ISY, which then make calls to the Simple Control API. Right now I am just using the /activities endpoint for activity switching (e.g. button A on remote 1 runs DirecTV activity in Family Room). I have also experimented with the /devices endpoint for controlling AVR volume.
The use I see for hard buttons is the common activities like: up / down / mute volume, channel changing, play / pause, and 5 way navigation pad. Anything more complex and I go to the app. Alexa integration works pretty good for some of these simple tasks, but nothing is faster for pausing or muting than picking up a hard button remote and using muscle memory to hit the appropriate button.
To that end, the following features would be nice to see added to the APIs:
- /rooms endpoint to get info about rooms including activities in the room and the currently selected activity and then be able to control the appropriate activity in the appropriate room
I’d like to be able to control the current activity by sending it generic commands like play / pause / mute and have Simple Control translate these to the appropriate device commands. At this point it becomes an implementation detail, but I could see this set of commands either going against a room and having Simple Control figure out the appropriate activity based on what is active in the room, or by knowing the current activity in a room the commands could be sent to the activity. Currently I am able to say something like “Alexa, tell Simple Control to pause” and Simple Control does its magic and pauses the current activity in the current room, so something like this must be exposed already via the Alexa integration.
On a side note, the Insteon / ISY / Simple Control integration works well for hard buttons, but the physical layout of the buttons is not that great and there aren’t quite enough buttons so I also continue to look at other options. I am considering working with an electronic design company to design something myself and perhaps turn it into a product: a small ergonomic WiFi remote with a limited set of generic buttons (as described above) whose button presses would result in calls to user-defined HTTP endpoints. I’ve done some searching and haven’t really found anything like this.