Alexa and door locks

This is probably answered somewhere else but the community is so large and, in my opinion, unorganized, I am unable to find an answer. I understand not allowing Alexa to unlock a door, but when I ask Alexa to lock the front door, there is no problem and it locks. But when I ask to run a routine that includes locking the door I get a message that “routine was not activated because it contains locking or security devices unsupported by Alexa”. Why??? My lock is a Yale YRD210.

Since you find the community forums unsatisfactory, perhaps you should stick to the official support resources and knowledgebase. In this case a simple search on “routines” there would turn up the answer.

BTW, it’s not just your opinion: the forum is disorganized and the search sucks. :wink:

99% of the people here are just other customers, all trying to help each other. We don’t control the forum organization, and they won’t make sub categories more than three deep, so we’re stuck with it the way it is. People do the best they can.

There is an additional community – created wiki with quick browse lists which do help, but there have been so many changes over the years it still takes some wading through. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

We often say smartthings is very powerful, but not very discoverable if you don’t get help from somebody who’s already doing what you’re trying to do. Fortunately, the community is very creative and helpful overall.

For example, There is a community FAQ on this topic which gives the workaround for the official limitation on routines and locks. But your first post sounded like you were only interested in official features.

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I was just wondering why the lock function works with a direct command but not as a routine. I don’t dislike the “community” at all. I visit it every day. It’s just difficult to wade through it all to find an answer sometimes, and I do understand why it gets so convoluted… Sometimes, as in this case, I just give up looking and hope someone can answer my question. Not sure what you mean by “official features”, I was just looking for an answer. Thanks for the references.

You wanted an answer as to why the routine didn’t work? That’s in the official support article linked to above. The official integration prohibits security devices in routines. :rage:

Or you wanted an answer as to how to make a routine accessible from Echo when it has a lock in it?

For that, see the following FAQ. It’s just a trick. A routine can be executed based on a switch turning on. So you create a virtual switch which triggers your routine, , you turn that on with echo, and. Now you can have a routine with any devices you want. :sunglasses:

Details are in the FAQ (the topic title is a clickable link)

looking into your references, it just seems that unsupported devices are not supported in routines, but ARE supported by direct commands. It still doesn’t make sense to me but I guess that’s “just the way it is” lol.

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Thanks, I’ll try that.

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It’s a design philosophy for security systems, sometimes called “active consent“ which means that the user should be reminded every single time that the System is about to unlock a door or disarm a security system.

Lots of security systems have this philosophy, including ADT. Many will allow Geopresence, for example, to send you a reminder that you have left the house but not armed the system, but will not let you use your presence to arm the system in the background. Even Apple requires that you actively confirm the automatic unlock, although there is a workaround for that one.

So that’s the justification for it. I personally think it should be a system option so that you can set it one way or the other, but there it is.

Thank you for clearing that up for me.

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I discovered a new wrinkle with this: when I say good night, Alexa turns on my virtual “good night switch” which triggers my good night routine, including locking locks. As of tonight, I get the “locking device unsupported by Alexa” error, so it looks like the software is now wise to that workaround. I also have the mode change set to trigger the “is my home secure” smartapp, so I guess tomorrow I’ll find out whether that’s become taboo as well…

Interesting. I have an Alexa routine called “I’m going to bed” that turns on my ST switch called “go to sleep” that launches my ST Routine called “go to sleep”. It turns off lights, sets SHM, sets the thermostat, unlocks doors and closes the garage door. Alexa still complies as of tonight. Is it possible you have your ST routine enabled in Alexa and it also has “good night” in the name or something like that? Or maybe you’re experience is a sign of things to come. :frowning:

I’m on the classic app, v2 hub, and use the “Switch activates Home Phrase” smart app to launch the ST routine from my virtual switch.

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The command is “Alexa, good night” and the switch is “good night switch”. The switch was available to Alexa as a device, so you’re probably right, I must have mumbled or something so that the command was picked up as “turn on good night” which was illegal. I’ve removed that switch from Alexa’s purview so we’ll see if it happens again…

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