At CES this year we expected to see some updates to Insteon’s HomeKit-compatible hub. Instead, Insteon surprised us all with a powerful new integration option: Sonos. Insteon’s standard hub (a.k.a. Hub 2, 2245-222) can now register your Sonos speakers as devices, allowing you to control Sonos from Insteon and, perhaps more interestingly, integrate Sonos actions into your scenes.
Insteon can control basic Sonos transport functions, like play/pause, skip, volume, etc. Additionally, it can trigger any Sonos favorite. With favorites defined for different stations then, you can set the mood for any occasion and incorporate that into your daily activities. Waking up? Turn on the lights and play some light tunes. Romantic dinner? How about some low lighting and piano solos? You can trigger scenes with Sonos actions from sensors, buttons, … basically any Insteon “controller.”
Rounding out the new offering, Insteon plans to release a set of pre-made transport control buttons for their popular in-wall keypads, giving you the ability to install custom keypads or use buttons on your current keypads to control your Sonos. This is perfect for areas of your home where it might not be convenient to use your app (think bathrooms, kitchen, etc.).
Insteon has submitted the update to the iTunes App Store that should be released the week of CES for iOS users, and they’re expecting to offer the update for Android users shortly, too. There’s no word on when (or if) Windows platform users will get this update.
We’re interested in trying out the new capabilities after the show. We’re particularly interested in seeing if this might be the key to controlling Sonos with Echo since you can also use your Echo to control Insteon. We’re hoping it’s something Insteon could soon support, since it would fill a gap that many Sonos enthusiasts have expressed. The key would be Insteon scene control from the Echo.