What are Fibaro Quick Apps and Virtual Devices?

Fibaro Quick Apps Virtual Devices

Building a smart home using a single brand is fairly straightforward. However, try adding third-party devices, and you’ll encounter plenty of issues. Thankfully, Fibaro has a solution. Depending on the Fibaro hub you’re using, you can use either Fibaro Quick Apps or Fibaro Virtual Devices.

 

Virtual Devices work with Home Center 2 (HC2) and Home Center Lite (HC lite), allowing you to integrate third-party devices into your Fibaro system.

 

If you’re using a Home Center 3, you can use Fibaro Quick Apps. These are a step up from the plug-ins and virtual devices found in HC2 and HC lite.

 

Creating a home automation system from multiple brands shouldn’t be difficult. Fibaro Quick Apps and Virtual Devices make life easier.

 

Let’s start by exploring Virtual Devices. Next, we’ll move on to Quick Apps and look at how they provide even more flexibility when integrating devices with Fibaro.

 

 

What are Fibaro Virtual Devices?

Virtual Devices are software extensions of FIBARO Home Center 2 and Home Center Lite. Easy to create and highly flexible, they allow easy integration. Every Fibaro Virtual Device can run Lua Script or send any string to any device visible in a local network.

 

Simply put, Virtual Devices enable you to build a complex solution that can control many smart devices in your home, such as your TV, Audio Systems and many more.

 

Why use Virtual Devices?

Each smart device comes with its own app. So it doesn’t take long for your phone to fill up with even more (seemingly useless) apps! Unless you enjoy endlessly scrolling for an app, only to forget why you needed it in the first, you’ll want a way to simplify how you operate devices.

 

Virtual Devices allow you to harness the programming power of the FIBARO Home Center hubs to integrate and control third-party devices. They also allow you to use the device with FIBARO Home Center scenes.

 

You shouldn’t need to speed hours researching how to get different devices and systems to interact with each other, especially when Fibaro Virtual Devices make the process effortless.

 

How can we build Virtual Devices?

Virtual Devices can be presented as an array of buttons, looking much the same as a TV remote. For each button, we can assign Lua code or HTTP request, which will be sent to the device using LAN.

 

You can also use buttons to trigger FIBARO Home Center scenes. You can also use buttons to trigger FIBARO Home Center scenes. Each button can display a unique label, making it easy to identify them.

 

Can I create a Virtual Device?

To create a Virtual Device, you need access to Home Center 2 or Home Center Lite. Be warned, the Home Center Lite doesn’t have access to Lua coding. So, it can only send http requests. So, consider upgrading to a Home Center 2 as it allows you to create more complex integration.

 

Fibaro has a superb article on creating a Virtual Device, which is easy to follow. If you get stuck, the Fibaro team offer fantastic email support, and their forum is also excellent.

 

Does Fibaro offer any free Virtual Devices?

There are plenty of free Virtual Devices you can download and use.

 

After downloading a file, simply:

  1. Log in to your FIBARO gateway through the web browser
  2. Click on “Devices” tab in top panel
  3. Click on “Add or remove device” button in left sidebar
  4. Click on Button under “Import virtual device”
  5. In the pop-up window choose downloaded file, it will be loaded to your gateway automatically.

 

If you see an error message after uploading a file, you should check if the Virtual Device is compatible with Home Center Lite.

 

Can I upload the Virtual Devices I’ve created?

Of course, after creating a profile on the Fibaro Marketplace, you will be able to create your own Virtual Devices.

 

FIBARO chooses some of these Virtual Devices to test. After verification, you’ll see the label FIBARO choice, which is a sign of excellence.

 

 

fibaro app tablet phone

photo by FIBARO

 

 

What are Fibaro Quick Apps?

Exclusive to Home Center 3, Fibaro Quick Apps takes Virtual Devices and other plug-ins to the next level. You can use Quick Apps to build integrations with non-Z-wave devices that still offer an API.

 

Advantages of Quick Apps

There are many advantages of the new Quick Apps approach:

  • easier development
  • simple installation
  • quick configuration
  • usable in scenes.

 

Types of Quick App devices

  • Binary sensor
  • Binary switch
  • Colour controller
  • Door lock
  • Door sensor
  • Energy meter
  • Generic device
  • Flood sensor
  • Humidity sensor
  • Multilevel sensor
  • Multilevel switch
  • Media player
  • Power sensor
  • Remote controller
  • Roller shutter
  • Smoke detector
  • Temperature sensor
  • Thermostat
  • Weather
  • Wind sensor
  • Window sensor.

 

How to create Quick Apps

  1. Open the Configuration Interface
  2. Go to Settings then Devices
  3. Click Add
  4. Choose Other Device
  5. Choose Quick App
  6. Enter the name of the Quick App
  7. Choose a Room
  8. Choose the device type
  9. Click next to create a Quick App
  10. Go to Edit&Preview tab
  11. Click Edit
  12. Drag & drop items and enter the Lua code (learn more).
  13. Click Save.

 

You can learn more about programming Quick Apps using the Fibaro Knowledge base.

 

Downloading a Quick App file

  1. Open the Configuration Interface
  2. Go to Settings then Devices
  3. Click next to the Quick Apps
  4. Open the Advanced tab
  5. Click Download.

 

Uploading a Quick App file

  1. Open the Configuration Interface
  2. Go to Settings then Devices
  3. Click Add
  4. Choose Other Device
  5. Choose Upload File
  6. Choose a file from your computer.

 

 

FIBARO products

photo by FIBARO

 

Experiment with Virtual Devices or Quick Apps with your Fibaro system

Now you have a clearer idea of how easily you can integrate third-party devices into a Fibaro system.

 

If you have a Home Center Lite or 2, you’ll need to use Virtual Devices. Even though you can use them with the Lite Hub, you will be limited. So, if you plan to use several Virtual Devices, it’s worth upgrading to a Home Center 2 or 3.

 

Fibaro Quick Apps are exclusive to Home Center 3 and are easier to work with than Virtual Devices, making it even easier to integrate third-party devices with your Fibaro system.

 

Regardless of which Home Center hub you’re using, Fibaro has made it easy to build a complete home automation system using multiple brands and Z-Wave technology.