SmartThings Community

"Alexa, call my phone"

How would one set this up? If I could get SmartThings to allow a generic software action, not triggered by hardware, I think this would work. Is his possible? Thanks!

IFTTT has options to call your phone. Maybe create a virtual switch, or better yet a virtual momentary, in Smartthings called “Call my Phone”. In IFTTT when that button is turned on it will trigger a phone call. Then discovery that switch in the Echo. IFTTT will also let you send a verbal message with the call, though you will only here the message on the phone.

They are other ways with direct Alexa IFTTT interactions, but personally I will use all three systems.

Guess I have another mini project.

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The echo itself doesn’t have any calling capabilities, it’s just operating on your home Wi-Fi.

There are two completely different ways to get echo to do things.

One) the official built-in services. At present, these include asking for the weather, playing music from sources that Amazon has partnered with, asking for sport scores, some limited Wikipedia searches, and integration with some specific home automation services including smartthings.

One of the really powerful things about the smartthings integration is that smart things allows you to create virtual switches. Echo knows how to tell Smartthings to turn switches on and off. So if there’s a way to have smartthings call your phone without having echo involved, you could associate that process with a virtual switch, and now you could have echo turn on the virtual switch to trigger the smartthings activity.

As an example, smartthings provides “routines” ( formerly called “hello home activities”) which do allow you to set up a notification to a specific phone number. However, the notification is limited to a standard message.

But it’s certainly possible, in fact it’s pretty easy, to set up something so that you say “Alexa, turn on phone notification”, echo tells SmartThings to flip a virtual switch called “phone notification”, that virtual switch triggers The existing smartthings routine that does a phone notification, and you get a text message on your phone.

However, that is not two-way communication to your phone. You’re not making a call on echo that is answered by your phone. You’re not even making a call from smartthings that is answered by your phone.

Because smartthings allows for some custom programming, if you can figure out a way to use some device that is controlled by smartthings to make phone calls, then you can put that on a virtual switch and trigger it through echo. But you’re still not delivering voice through Echo to your phone.

So the first step in all of this is to figure out what exactly you want smartthings to do and how you would do that without Echo. And then you just add the Echo-flip-a-switch-to-make-that-happen piece.

So it all comes down to the details of exactly what you want. And what you mean by “call my phone.” But at the present time there’s no way to have echo collect your voice and stream that onto a phone through the built-in services.

  1. AMAZON SKILLS (ASK)

The alternative method requires being an Amazon developer and building your own programs and your own device.

Amazon is making the echo software available free to other device manufacturers. That’s really really cool. That means that you could design your own speakerphone that would work with echo type software and do all kinds of things, including making phone calls.

But that doesn’t exist as a basic service, and it’s probably a 14 month project. And not an easy project.

So someday somebody may make that work. But it’s not really part of smartthings, it’s part of designing a new echo-enabled phone or VoIP unit.

Did that help any, or did I misunderstand your question?

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Oops, didn’t see @DarcRanger post.

In theory, this should work:

  1. Create Momentary Button Tile called “Phone Locator”
  2. Add Tile to IFTTT and Alexa (Echo)
  3. Create IFTTT channel - If Switch is Activated Call My Phone

“Alexa, activate Phone Locator” or “Alexa, turn on Phone Locator”

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It would work to cause your phone to ring, a phone locator as you’ve described.

It won’t work to make a call to your phone where the person answering the phone can hear what you’re saying to the echo.

So again, it all comes down to what original poster meant by “call my phone.” :sunglasses:

Bam! Momentary and virtual switches. This is the info I needed! Not sure, right now what the difference is, as I’m new to ST. Will do some reading. Thanks for the info!

Use a Momentary Button Tile, it goes on for a moment and then turns itself back off, perfect for triggering one off actions. The other option is a Simulated Switch, but then you have to deal with turning it off after you turn it on otherwise it will only work once (because it will be stuck “On” and IFTTT when never see it go “On” again).

You might find the project interesting that I did to allow echo voice control of my harmony universal remote using smartthings and virtual switches.

So now I can say “turn on ESPN TV” and echo tell smart things to turn on a virtual switch, smart things turns on the virtual switch, IFTTT recognizes that the virtual Switch was turned on and tells harmony to turn on the corresponding harmony activity, harmony does that, and bang! ESPN starts playing in the living room. It sounds complicated but it happens in under two seconds.

The Basic approach is the same for any use of virtual switches, it’s just set the intermediate steps will be different:

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Just wanted to say THANKS for this useful project. I have been using this since your first post. Nice work flawless implementation. :sunglasses:

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I just want to say this thread is so #money

I actually wrote a recipe on IFTTT a while ago for Alexa to call my phone. I can’t see anybody in my house ever actually asking her for sports scores. So I wrote a recipe if you asked Alexa for the score in a game , IFTT calls myself, my wife and my daughter with message " I need help" . While far from perfect it is enough to let everybody know that something happened at home and they need to check.
Long press on WeMo switches works as phone locator . Long press and wait about 5-10 seconds and the phone assigned to that switch will start ringing.

Sorta similar…I’d love the ability to ask Alexa the status of a light (“Alexa, is the office on?”) and have her answer. Doesn’t appear that that works (but could just be I’m not asking the right thing).

I tried this and added a momentary button tile which showed up under the switch section of IFTTT and the Echo, created the recipe but when I ask Alexa to turn on that button tile she does nothing. I did discover it using the Echo app but it shows up as a device which is why I think she isn’t able to control it.

Any thoughts? Did I miss a step, do something wrong? Anyone else have this issue or can point me in the right direction?

@ZYERBUA, have any thoughts on my post above? What does your button tile look like in the Echo? I’m still not able to get Alexa to do anything with it.

Will assist if I can. What are your trying to control? In Echo, treat the device as a push button, meaning command "Alexa, turn the “your device name” on. Make sure the device is checked in ST Echo connect and also in the Amazon Alexa app. It is also good the create a group for the device even if it is the only device in the group. Give that group a simple name for Alexa to identify the device with.

Echo uses the term device for anything in connected home. I have a combination of 31 switches and harmony activities in Echo all identified as device.

If you could be more specific, I can provide a more specific response.

Cheers

Well, it looks like the issue I had was possibly with the names I was using. I tried ‘call me’, ‘my phone’, ‘call my phone’, ‘locate phone’, ‘locate my phone’ but finally got it to work with ‘locate me’. At least in my experience it didn’t like anything with the words ‘phone’ or ‘call’ in the name. Reserved words maybe? Any developers know if/why Alexa might have any issues with those words for a device name? Weird.

It worked for me with " Alexa trigger Randy’s phone"

Note they just released additional functionality for Alexa in IFTTT. Now you can say “Alexa trigger X” with X = any words you want to be a button to connect with anything else in the IFTTT world. No momentary ST tiles required

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