Hue Lights Workflow

Hue Lights Workflow

I’ve enjoyed using the Workflow app (acquired by Apple) to create little workflows to help my dad complete tasks. Remind him at work, remember supermarket coupons, show interesting stuff, like indicate the number of people in space right now etc.

Recently he got Phillips Hue lights. I decided this was a perfect opportunity to cross Workflow with the Hue API. Yes I know, the Hue app, but where is the fun in that?

Hue API Workflow

First step was building a workflow to hook up with the Hue Bridge and pass the API commands. I followed the steps on the ‘getting started’ guide on the Phillips developer site.

For easy future editing, I broke out the ‘Bridge IP address’ and the ‘User ID’ as variables.

After a little test, I had a workflow that sent a colour value to a Hue light.

API Workflow Reuse

To avoid long complex workflows I decided to keep the Hue API workflow very simple. It just passes the colour hue value to the lights. Thats it.

Any future flows I make, their last step will be RunWorkflow Hue API, to run that flow and pass it a colour input.

This avoids duplication. Any future change to the Hue API, will only have to be made in one place.

Carbon Intensity Workflow

The Carbon Intensity Forecast (carbonintensity.org.uk) is an API provided by the National Grid.  It returns the amount of CO2 used by the UK power grid.

I already had a flow that returned the current Carbon Intensity from their API. I modified this to extract the returned value – low, moderate or high.

Three variables with green, amber and red colour hue values were created. An odd colour hue format is the format Hue requires, unsurprisingly.

Selecting one of three values wasn’t straightforward, as Workflow only has if/else statements, not if/if else/else. I had to get a little creative and nest statements:

  • If does not contain ‘moderate’?
    • If contains ‘low’?
      • Get low variable colour value (green)
    • Else ‘high’
      • Get high colour value (red)
  • Else moderate
    • Get moderate value (amber)

The corresponding variable fetched, gets passed when I run the Hue API workflow and the LED strip displays the Carbon Intensity level as green, amber or red. Success.

Workflow

Its a simple use case and may seem a simple project but it still threw up some interesting little problems to solve etc. I enjoy using and looking for excuses to use Workflow app.

I am interested in the ability of iOS 12 to use Siri Automation with custom phrases to accomplish the same functionality.

I am also hoping for the day when the Carbon Intensity is low by default.

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Great British Bee Count 2018

Joining the Great British Bee Count is a great way to learn about bees – and helping experts learn more too.

Thousands of your verified bee sightings will contribute to the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme – the  first comprehensive health check of Britain’s bees and other pollinators.

via The Great British Bee Count | Friends of the Earth

Take part from 17 May–30th June.

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count

Twitter demonstrates the future of Windows 10 apps – The Verge

Twitter is the first big name to switch its Universal Windows App over to a PWA, and there will likely be many more. These web apps look like they will be the future of many Windows apps.

via Twitter demonstrates the future of Windows 10 apps – The Verge

I am fascinated to see how this approach works out, how people take to hosted web apps and PWAs when they become common in the Windows Store.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) can be the next platform – with Chrome, Samsung Internet and now Firefox Mobile supporting the concept and Safari in future. PWA can sit seamlessly alongside native apps right now on your device and soon in the app stores.

Desktop support is in progress, congratulations if you are a web developer you may be called software developer in future, as the two disciplines will be indistinguishable in future. As will any concept of a ‘mobile’ browser, as now the OS are starting to run on any form factor.

Truly multi-platform progress.

From my latest post on mobile browser choices on http://www.paulfosterdesign.co.uk

Amazon is reportedly working on a messaging app called Anytime – The Verge

Amazon.com is reportedly working on launching its own messaging app called Anytime, according to a report from AFTV News. The retail giant has begun to survey its customers about potential features, although it’s not clear what form the final product will take.

Its not perhaps something anyone would have thought to demand from Amazon – but, the difference is if Facebook alienate enough users from their assorted apps, near everyone already has an Amazon account. Moving friends wholesale wouldn’t have the friction and resistance from people it might have, compared to an entirely new and untested company.

via Amazon is reportedly working on a messaging app called Anytime – The Verge

The Great British Bee Count 2017

Our bees are in trouble – can you help? Join Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count from 19 May to 30 June 2017, and our free app will get you off to a flying start in identifying and recording different species.

By taking part, you’ll learn more about our brilliant bees and easy ways to help them. It’s also a great nature activity to do with children – encouraging them to get up close with these wonderful insects.

You’ll be helping experts build our understanding of different species. For example, how they’re coping with impacts such as climate change and habitat loss – so that ultimately we might reverse their decline.

via The Great British Bee Count