There are many ways for you to connect to your HomeSeer. Not that many ways however for HomeSeer to connect with you. How would HomeSeer notify you about emergency situations – fire, flooding, burglary etc. that need your immediate attention and action? Fortunately there is Big5. Big5 messaging will be there for you when needed. It will send a text message to you wherever in the world you are. Big5 will also receive your text messages and update HomeSeer accordingly.

Big5 chose to work with Slack (NYSE:WORK) to accomplish messaging. Slack is a solid public company with $17 Billion valuation. Their technology is solid and well supported. Not only that but it is open for third party developers to create apps. Over 3,000 apps for Slack are available now and growing. You may leverage some of these to add more value to your Big5 messaging service. Slack is free for small companies or individual users.

Telegram is another popular messaging system that was integrated with HomeSeer by Big5 users using the power of Big5. Slack however is natively part of Big5 providing all benefits of composing messages, using triggers, creating HS3 devices from incoming messages etc.

As far as Slack is designed for messaging teams and groups of people, the setup may look a bit difficult and confusing at first sight but don’t be afraid it will all come together nicely if you follow the simple steps below. Also you may ignore in the process setting that are meant for groups.

There are 4 essential things that you need to accomplish to setup your Big5 messaging.

  1. Create free slack account and a communication channel within your account.
  2. Create a “bot”
  3. Add the “bot” to your communication channel.
  4. Create HS3 Big5 chat profile where you plug the info obtained above.

Let’s get in the details and get you going in no time.

  1. Visit https://slack.com/create to create your account. Take a note of two things that you’ll need later.
    a) the name of your workspace. You choose it. Any name.
    For example: Happy
    b) the name of your channel mandatory preceded by #. You choose it any name.
    For example: #Big5Chat.

  2. In order to create your bot. Visit https://my.slack.com/services/new/bot (if you disabled cookies in your browser than this link may not work and you need to use https://Happy.slack.com/services/new/bot ) where “Happy” is for example only you use the workspace name you selected in p.1 above. Create your bot. Give it a name. Here is what you will need later

    a) the name of your bot
    b) API token – looks like this
    xoxb-1129011860514-1141661941409-DN94VrnsCLVsCQYbAgu3D2hP

  3. To add the bot to your channel please visit your workspace at https://Happy.slack.com (for the example. Replace “Happy” with the name of your workplace selected in P.1 above)

    a) find and select your channel in the left pane of the page under Headline “Channels”.
    For example: #Big5Chat (for the example above). It’s likely for you to see two more standard channels created automatically by slack #random and #general (ignore them).

    b) go to the upper right corner of the selected channel page and select
    Details–>More–>Add app

    c) add your bot that you created previously in p.2 to your channel.

  4. Go to HomeSeer → PlugIns–>Big5–>Cofiguration

    a) create new Chat profile any name you choose.

    b) use the oAuth Token that you obtained in p.2 b) above Looks like this
    xoxb-1129011860514-1141661941409-DN94VrnsCLVsCQYbAgu3D2hP

    c) use the name of the channel that you created in p.1 b) above (always starts with #)
    For example: #Big5Chat
  5. Download the “Slack” app on your smart phone and you’ll be all set to send and receive messages to/from HomeSeer. You can also view and send messages from the web interface at https://Happy.slack.com (for the example. Replace “Happy” with the name of your workplace selected in P.1 above)