API I can use?

Are there plans to create an API so I can try to use this with Home Assistant? Even something as simple as being able to send it strings to display would be nice. Though, I would really appreciate some way to create my own panels for it display.

Loving it so far!


Definitely. Internally, we have a basic API for pushing any image to a Tidbyt, and we also have a Python-based SDK for building full screens & apps.

There’s a bunch of work to be done to make these things public, but it’s a pretty high priority. I can’t promise a specific date, but I’d like to have at least a basic public API or SDK available before the end of September.

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I’m also looking forward to the API being available. I’m in the Washington, DC area, so thought I build something locally focused - maybe a Metro schedule - since you guys are all-NYC all the time :wink:

That sounds great! I’d like to provide the source of all or most of the existing apps when we make an API/SDK available. I think that would make it a lot easier to port one of the existing transit apps for a different region & transit system.

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+1 for Home Assistant!

I’m actually not super-familiar with Home Assistant. I’m a Hubitat user though and I think it’s similar?

@tmcarr @Chris_Mullins Are there any specific use cases you have in mind for Home Assistant + Tidbyt? If so that would definitely help me figure out what we need to build.

We need to bring you over to the promise land! :slight_smile:

The API doc: https://developers.home-assistant.io/docs/api/rest/

There are ~50K installs, and I suspect that the community would be an enthusiastic adopter of the Tidbyt. Your setup even reminds me of their zones with the ‘Living Room’ default text.


Well, first of all, I’d be glad to help out here.

The point of something like Home Assistant is to actually take the work away from you. You (or the community) write a home-assistant integration that describes a set of capabilities inside home-assistant, for example a “notifier”. Then users hook up their Tidbyts to home-assistant using that integration and can call that notifier with a “message” which just gets sent to the Tidbyt API resulting in a notification showing up on the display. Inegrations can expose multiple entities such as Notifiers, Sensors, Switches, etc…

I think the following would be good starting points for capabilities to open up in the API, which could be easily exposed as the corresponding entity types in home-assistant:

  1. Send a message to scroll across the display (notifier)
  2. Trigger a specific app to show up on the display (switch)
  3. Set the display brightness (switch)
  4. Report the current brightness level (sensor)
  5. Turn the display on/off (switch)
  6. Report the display state (on/off) (binary_sensor)
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Here is a use case I would immediately use if I had an API to cause the Tidbyt to show a message.

Currently, when the “bin full” state on my Roomba transitions to “True”, I call a notifier to send my phone a notification so I can remember to empty it when I get home. If I had my Tidbyt hooked up, I’d also have it call notify.tidbyt with the same message.

This might seem like a trivial case, but you can see how this would extrapolate into a TON of use cases.

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Wow, thanks a ton for the overview. It actually seems like Home Assistant is quite similar to Hubitat, which I have and am familiar with.

Exposing a REST API for things like a notifier and switch is actually a lot less work than a full SDK for third-party Tidbyt apps. I’ll start there and let you know when we have something.

Hey all, happy to report that we now have a basic API available! And we just published some documentation on how to connect.

Right now, you can adjust a Tidbyt’s brightness, and also send an image to be displayed on the device. Features in progress include showing a custom message (instead of just an image) and cycling through apps.

BTW, to use the API you’ll need to install the latest version of the Tidbyt iOS or Android apps. They have a new menu that lets you get the API key for your Tidbyt.


Home Assistant is bigger than I realized - and #1 repo on GitHub?!?