I’ve been using a Netatmo Welcome camera for the past month or so (review coming soon) and enjoying its facial recognition features, its completely free plans which save everything to an SD card and can connect to your Dropbox, and its neat little cylinder design. What I haven’t liked, however, is the fact that it doesn’t integrate with anything else I own. SmartThings? Nope. Google Home? Nada. Echo/Alexa? Niet. There’s an IFTTT channel but that’s about it. The cams are like the bastard children of Netatmo’s ecosystem. Whereas the thermostat and weather station have Assistant and Alexa integrations, the cams aren’t supported in either of these. But now, there’s another way to control the Netatmo cams and no it’s not what you think… Well it technically is because you already read the title of the post, but let’s suppose you didn’t. It’s with (pause for effect) Facebook Messenger. Wait, whaaaa?

The Netatmo team thought it wiser to forego all these voice assistant fads and integrate with Messenger as a bot. After all, who doesn’t want to type to check their camera instead of opening an app? Ok, ok, I get that there’s a legit use case somewhere, but of all possible integrations to think of, Messenger was the first?!

In order to get things working, you’ll have to head over to the Netatmo bot page on Facebook and start a chat. After authenticating with your account, you’ll be able to control all of your Netatmo gear, including the cams, weather stations, thermostats, and more (check the FAQ link below). For cams, three requests are possible: who is home, see the last 3 events, and get a livestream image. And if you’re done and don’t want to enable this connection anymore, you can send “log out” to the bot or remove access to the cam from the Netatmo app.

Now let’s hope Netatmo is also working on proper camera integration with Google Assistant (smart displays, specifically) and Alexa.