We all know that if we enabled the SmartThings skill in Alexa we can access our SmartThings devices in Alexa. Which is very useful.
However is there anyway to achieve the opposite. I have a few devices that are connected directly to Alexa and would like to access these from SmartThings (and webCoRe). Has anyone been successful in achieving this?
There are also several community created smart apps which can do it but have a much more complex set up than the method described in the FAQ. In general you will have to get an Amazon developers account. But for people who have a strong technical background, they are definitely worth looking into.
What exactly do you mean by “access”? And what kinds of devices are you wanting to access?
There’s no easy way to expose non ST devices that are connected to your Alexa account directly to ST, but there are several workarounds for various devices/types of access.
If you want to trigger something in ST based on the action of an Alexa connected device, you can create a virtual device in ST, add it to Alexa, and create an Alexa routine that triggers the virtual device, which is monitored by ST/webCoRE. You can also do the reverse and have a virtual switch in ST that triggers an Alexa routine. One issue with this is that Alexa routines are very limited in what they can be triggered by and what actions they can take in response to a trigger.
And if something can connect to Alexa, then there’s a high likelihood that it can also connect to other IoT services like IFTTT, which can be used to expose it to ST/webCoRE, usually in much more useful ways than the clunky workarounds described above.
That kind of access (direct device control) will likely not be available for a LONG time, if ever. The closest you’ll get is Echo Speaks which can trigger an Alexa routine.
Amazon keeps thier ecosystem close to the vest for the longest time we couldn’t even get what we have now. That changed so I won’t say what you want will never happen. Just being pragmatic, (and not based on any insider knowledge) I personally believe you’ll see the SmartThings new app have feature parity with Classic before this ever happens.
Keep in mind that switches currently can’t be used to trigger Alexa routines, so you may need to use a virtual contact sensor or virtual motion sensor instead. And before you go through the trouble of making the virtual sensor and writing a webCoRE piston, make sure the device you want to control is available as an action in an Alexa routine. Just because a device is able to be controlled by Alexa doesn’t mean it’s necessarily available as an action in Alexa routines.
thanks @JDRoberts I do already have a few things working like this, I was curious if there was a way to control the Alexa devices directly from ST without having to go through anything else. I have my answer
I will try and do some work on this over the weekend to get it doing what I want, however in this instance its not as easy, but I am sure with a bit of thought and detailed design I’ll manage it