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This guide will show you how to get basic controls over entities integrated with Home Assistant on to your Garmin sport watch using HassControl. While Garmin watches aren’t as capable as the Apple Watch or Wear OS watches in terms of processing power, they can run basic apps and display simple widgets. One such widget allows you to take control of Home Assistant without having to pull your phone from your pocket.

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The name of the Garmin Widget in question is HassControl, and it is available on the Garmin Connect IQ Store. It is compatible with a wide range of watches and has generally positive reviews. I can vouch for it too, and I recommend ahead of any alternatives.

Limitations of the Home Assistant Widget for Garmin

For those unfamiliar with Garmin sport watches: Different to smartwatches, these watches tend to favour battery life, tracking accuracy, and outdoor legibility. For that reason, they have so-called Garmin Chroma displays and not fancy OLED screens. These displays are comparable to e-ink displays, insofar that they look better under direct sunlight. The downsides are that they aren’t as vivid and have a slow refresh-rate. To conserve power, Garmin sport watches use less powerful processors, but will instead last up to a week on a single charge.

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Your Garmin sport watch won’t be able to perform miracles and in terms of usability with Home Assistant, it is miles behind the Apple Watch. You won’t be able to view any cameras, and neither are there any complications available. The HassControl Garmin Widget will simply let you toggle various entities. Another limit imposed by Garmin is that you will only be able to connect to Home Assistant using a secure connection (i.e., HTTPS).

Finally, the HassControl widget is a community contribution and not an official Home Assistant component. Support for the HassControl Garmin Widget could end at any time, and bugs are not guaranteed to get fixed. On the bright side, the project is open source and anyone could take over the reins, were the developer to ever give up on it.

What the HassControl Garmin Widget can do

The HassControl widget can control the following entities. As mentioned, you will only be able to toggle these entities. There is no information from your Home Assistant displayed anywhere.

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  • binary_sensor: Displays basic boolean state
  • input_boolean: Toggling its state
  • light: Turning on and off
  • lock: Locking and unlocking
  • switch: Turning on and off
  • automation: Turning on and off
  • scene: Execution
  • script: Execution

Setting up HassControl on your Garmin sport watch

The first step is to open the Connect IQ app on your phone and install the HassControl Garmin Widget. The search function in the app is atrocious, though luckily, there aren’t too many apps available, so you should be able to easily find HassControl.

Once installed, you should be able to enter the settings menu. Here you will need to enter your host (Garmin, and thus HassControl, only supports HTTPS, no local IP can be entered here). Next, you will need to create a long-lived access token in your Home Assistant profile settings. Copy the string and paste it in to the settings. The final step is to create a new group. I named mine group.garminfr645.

The scene option can be used if you wish to give your scenes friendly titles. For example, if you had a scene called scene.night_light you could enter night_light=Night Light. Individual scenes can be added as a comma separated list.

Adding entities to the Home Assistant group

You can now open Home Assistant’s configuration.yaml file and create a new group. In my case, the group is called garminfr645. To this group, you can add the entities you want displayed on your Garmin sport watch. Keep in mind that the possibilities are limited (see list above).

group:
  garminfr645:
    name: Garmin
    entities:
      - light.office_lights

Once your group is complete, you can restart Home Assistant and once again switch to the Garmin watch. Open the HassControl widget and enter the settings by long-pressing the up button. From the settings you can refresh the entities and once complete, those in your group should appear. In the settings, you can also decide whether you want the scenes or entities to be your start view when opening the widget.

A Garmin sport watch controlling Home Assistant
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Liam Alexander Colman, the author and maintainer of Home Assistant Guides.

About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started of with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

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