Fibaro Swipe: A Review and How to Use It with Vera

Fibaro Swipe Review - How to use it with Vera

If you're a smart home enthusiast, you likely know Fibaro as a company that releases unique devices with larger price tags. Just look at the FGMS-001 "Cat Eye" motion sensor (one of our favorites) and the RGBW Micro-Controller, for example.

Fibaro didn't just build those devices to mimic everyone else, they innovated and created devices that were drastically better than the competition and, in the RGBW Micro-Controller's case, never before seen. As should be expected, the Fibaro Swipe is no exception.

The Swipe is the latest and greatest Z-Wave device, as it's a device that works great and offers something no one has seen before; The ability control other devices and scenes via gestures.

Why Use The Fibaro Swipe?

Now, you might be thinking, "Why would I want to use gestures, when I can control everything via voice?" That's a fair question, that I asked myself as well, but as a user of both the Swipe and Alexa, I've found a purpose for both of them in my smart home.

Alexa controls virtually everything in my home from my home theater system to my lights. The Fibaro Swipe, on the other hand, controls my Sonos and my locks. I have it control my Sonos, because I find it easier to swipe commands than I do voicing commands when my music is blaring. And I have it control my locks, because I don't trust Alexa. After all, if someone yelled loud enough from my porch, they could unlock my doors or garage. That can't be said about using gestures.

That being said, some may already prefer gestures to voice commands, so getting a Fibaro Swipe would a no brainer.

Want to learn more about Swipe? Check out this video.​

Unboxing The Fibaro Swipe

Fibaro Swipe Box

Nothing too exciting here. It comes in a standard cardboard box wrapped in cellophane.

Fibaro Swipe Open Box

Unsurprisingly, the picture of the girl with paint on her hands is pre-installed.

Fibaro Swipe Unboxed

In the box: Fibaro Swipe, a micro USB cable, a small plastic stand, and instructions.

Z-Wave Fibaro Swipe Back

It's hard to tell in this photo, but the back of the unit is rounded.

Fibaro Swipe Photo Frame

The front photo frame magnetically attaches to Swipe.

Fibaro Swipe Photo

The photo comes out easily and a new one can be inserted just as easily.

Fibaro Swipe Without a Photo

This is what the Fibaro swipe looks like without a picture.

Fibaro Swipe Without Photo Frame

This is directly under the photo holder, where the actual sensor is. To access the batteries and the "B" button, you simply slide this sensor down.

Fibaro Swipe Apart

This is what the Fibaro Swipe looks like fully taken apart.

Fibaro Swipe Review

Fibaro FGGC-001 Swipe Gesture Controller

Pros

  • New Way to Control Devices and Scenes
  • Works on Battery or USB
  • Use as a Picture Frame and Z-Wave Device
  • Use Through Objects

Cons

  • No Mounting Hardware
  • Kind of Pricey
  • Somewhat Difficult to Set Up

The Fibaro Swipe is a very unique device with a lot to offer. It gives you the ability to use 6 different gestures and 6 different sequences to control any device or scene in your home! Not only that, but it works under surfaces, so it can be easily hidden if you decide you don't want to have it out in the open.

What I really like about the Swipe is that it's quick. The response time is usually half a second or less, so your devices and scenes are activated quickly. Not only that, but there's no need to open an app on your phone or click through a few menus, you just swipe.

No longer do you have to worry about using dirty hands to turn on a light, when you can simply swipe it on and off!

Features​

  • Uses Z-Wave+ - It's always nice to see Z-Wave+ devices hit the market, but be aware that your controller has to support Z-Wave+ (ie. VeraPlus, VeraEdge).
  • Swipe Through Counters - You can mount this under a counter, behind a cabinet door, or even under a table and it will still work through the object.
  • Picture Frame - You can insert a picture, so you can use it as a frame in addition to a Z-Wave device if you decide to leave it out.
  • Power - Works on either battery (AA) or USB.

What Others Say

Customer Review

The Fibaro Swipe is an interesting device I never thought I needed, but now, I don't know how I lived without. It is so versatile that it makes for some real unique home automation integrations. I'm glad I picked one up and so are my kids! They love showing it off!

How to Use Swipe with Vera

Swipe is still a very new device, so it unfortunately doesn't work perfectly with hubs other than Fibaro's own Home Center 2. Vera is not an exception to the rule, but there is a work around to get Swipe fully functional on Vera.

Disclaimer: This process worked for me, but I make no promises that it will work the same for you. If something happens to your device(s) because of this guide, I will not be liable.

1

Pair Swipe With Vera

Vera Add Device

You cannot select Swipe as a device type, because Mios hasn't added it to the list yet, so instead, just select "Generic Z-Wave Device."

Many devices can be paired far away from a hub, however, with the Fibaro Swipe, I continuously received errors when I tried pairing it a few rooms a way. To fix this, I paired Swipe right next to Vera and it worked flawlessly.

2

Put Swipe Into Pairing Mode

Fibaro Gesture Swipe Include Device

To pair swipe, you need to hold your hand in front of the sensor and wait for the beep sequence. It sounds like it's 3-4 beeps at once and then another beep and another two quick beeps. After the last two quick beeps, swipe up. This will put it into pairing mode. As a side note, this is called entering the menu, which also wakes the device.

Alternatively, you can take Swipe apart and use the "B" button to enter the menu. To do this, press and hold the "B" button. One beep wakes it up. Two beeps puts it into pairing mode. Three beeps resets the device. Once you hear the correct amount of beeps (two in this case), release the "B" button and press it again quickly. This will confirm your selection. You need to have the micro USB attached for this to work, since it will be dismounted from the batteries.

Fibaro Swipe

When it is added to your Vera, it will look like a standard Z-Wave scene controller.

3

Add a Scene to Your Swipe

Fibaro Scenes

At this point, your Fibaro Swipe should be added and ready to function, however, it can only control scenes via the standard six gestures. Sequences are not supported out of the box, but don't worry, we'll fix that!

Now, you'll need to add at least once scene to your Swipe to ensure a certain menu appears in the "Advanced" section. Once you add a scene, save it and wait for it to apply.

Fibaro Swipe Scenes
4

Change the Configuration

Vera Parameters

Next, go into "Device Options." You'll likely already see the first line with a variable of 10 and a value of 63. This simply enables your swipes to register on Vera. Don't mess with this line.

The second line with a variable of 6 and a value of 2 turns off power saving mode when on battery power.

Power saving mode turns on when you're using Swipe on battery power and it hasn't seen a gesture in a while. While in power saving mode, you need to hold your hand in front of Swipe (as if you were entering the menu) to register that it can come out of that mode, prior to doing a gesture. This isn't a requirement for sequences to work, but I hate having to do two gestures when I really only need to do one.

The third line with a variable of 30 and value of 1 is what you need to add on this screen. This puts your Swipe into learning mode for a sequence.​

The value can be 1-6 depending on which sequence you want Swipe to learn at the time. My suggestion is to start with 1 and add the others after you have the hang of it.

Once you add this line to your configuration, save it and wait for the LUA engine to restart.

5

Add Your Sequence

After the LUA engine restarts, you'll need to wake your Swipe up, so Vera can apply the configuration you just changed. To do this, enter the menu as mentioned above. Once your Swipe has received the configuration from Vera, it will start to beep continuously. This is telling you that it's ready for a sequence.

At this point, you need to be quick, because it will only be in sequence learning mode for the next 5-10 seconds.

Sequence Rules

  • You can only do one sequence at a time.
  • Sequences can be two or three gestures in a row.
  • You cannot do two of the same gestures in a row (ie. swiping up twice will not work).
  • You can swipe up, down, left, or right in a sequence.
  • Each sequence must be unique.

Examples

Sequence

  • Up Up Down

  • Up Down

  • Up Down Left Right

Valid or Not

  • Not Valid

  • Valid

  • Not Valid

Why

  • 2 of the same gestures in a row
  • Uses 2 different gestures
  • Uses 4 gestures.
6

Change the Variables

Navigate to Swipe > Advanced > Variables on Vera.

Vera Advanced Fibaro Swipe Screen

This is where the magic happens. Scroll down to "NumButtons" and change it from "6" to "7" (or higher depending on what sequence you're adding). Then at the bottom of this box add the following: ",7-7-7=ui7_lang_tap_button NAME". Add this without the quotes and change NAME to whatever you want the button to be called. Click away from the box to save it.

Vera Swipe Variables

Now scroll down to where it says "SceneShortcuts" and add the following: ",7=0-0" without the quotes. This is the box that only shows up after you add a scene to one of the gestures.

Vera and Fibaro Swipe Image

After that, simply restart your LUA engine and refresh to page to see your newly added sequence!

Mounting Your Swipe

Swipe comes with a stand that you can use to display it around the house, which is nice. However, Fibaro repeatedly talked up it's ability to work through objects like counters and cabinets, but they failed to offer any way to mount it. So, despite the fact that it CAN work through these objects, you have no way to use it through them unless you jerry-rig it... like me. 🙂

First, I removed the picture frame magnet. Then, I used two pairs of 3M Medium Velcro strips (one on each side) and attached it to my cupboard. So far, it's held up through multiple openings and closings of the cupboard with no issues. It's definitely not a perfect mounting solution, but it works well!

Conclusion

The Fibaro Swipe is a great device that can be used for quite a few different applications. Whether you want to control music or lights, Swipe can handle it. Is it perfect? No, but I think it complements other devices so well, that it would make a great addition to any smart home!

The Fibaro Swipe manual can be found here.

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