I was thinking bout how easy or hard it would be to Have Alexa make a simple announcement when presence is detected at the front door?
I currently have a motion sensor dedicated to this that notifies via push when someone is at the door but is it possible and to have Alexa tell us too, make with a stripped back version of ASK ALEXA without the whole heap of delving into Lambda and AWS that goes with it as its a bit time consuming and probably above the pay grade of the average DIYer?
At the present time, Amazon does not offer TTS (text to speech) as a feature for Alexa. So there’s no simple way to have Alexa speak an announcement for you.
The only way to do it is to have a skill set up, which means “all that lambda stuff.”
The most popular skills that work with smartthings are AskAlexa and the new EchoSistant. There are community members who will help you with either of these, but right now that’s the only way to do it because of limitations on the Amazon side.
If you want a much simpler way to get voice announcements without using echo, you could just use the $49 Aeon doorbell, which lets you upload up to 99 different custom sound files, and you can have different SmartThings actions trigger different ones.
But if you want to use Alexa, you either have to go the skills route or use an android device that can do text to speech and just use the echo as a Bluetooth speaker.
You can check the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki for voice smart apps and voice projects to see what other people have done. All four of the methods that mentioned above are covered there.
Thanks for the reply JD, always appreciated - i just managed to get a rough version up and working using @bamarayne work with LANouncer and I’ve set up a CoRE piston which is working nicely although I’m currently testing at a very low volume as it’s a bit early in the UK to be waking my wife and child up with Doorbell level testing!
I did have a dabble with Lambda and i can definitely see it’s potential, but it can be very time consuming and a bit mind boggling if you don’t speak the ‘language’.
I’m glad you got it working for you.
If you want to take a dabble at the Lambda stuff, you should definitely give EchoSistant a shot, or even AskAlexa. I know the initial set up can be a non programmers nightmare… but I promise you, the directions for each of those skills is very detailed (they have pictures with arrows!!) and it goes through step by step.
In EchoSistant you can use the embedded custom sounds or you can use a custom message that you type in. It’s your choice… and it works very well with LanDroid.
If you have any questions… just ask!
Here are the directions for EchoSistant…
I might give it a try tomorrow morning if I’m feeling brave!
go for it… I’m here all of the time… it’s like I’m not working or something… oh wait… I’m not…
I’ll gladly help you out!
Nice one, thanks! I’ll remember that
I have an Android tablet in the kitchen that is used as a picture frame, recipe book, family calendar and announcer for the Echo. It uses a combination of LanAnnouncer and Big Talker and just uses the Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. I know it’s not technically an answer to your question, and it requires more hardware. But if you happen to have a tablet available, it seems to be a pretty reliable option to get some form of announcement from SmartThings to the Echo. Since we already had the tablet right next to the Echo, it was essentially free for us to add the announcements. And it requires no complicated setup, other than installing LanAnnouncer on the tablet and the Big Talker SmartApp.
We use it for doors (“Front door is open”), presence (“Name has arrived”), moisture and one or two other status announcements.