Alexa skills killing SmartThings integration


(David Tucker) #1

Amazon has launched a new feature whereby Alexa automatically enables skills it thinks are similar to voice commands you give it…without having a separate “enable” voice command. I am finding this is killing my SmartThings integrations as when I say for example “run bedtime” instead of Alexa running my ‘bedtime’ routine, Alexa prioritises enabling a skill called bedtime. So now I am no longer in control of what Alexa does, if someone writes a skill with a name similar to my routines that will get run instead.

Anyone else getting this problem? Amazon support seems to have no way of permanently disabling unwanted skills, or switching off the auto-enable skills function they have recently added.

Any solutions, other than renaming my routines every time someone in the global community decides to write a skill with the same name as my routine?


#2

Google Home does not have the un-enabled skills like Alexa. It’s is kind of annoying actually to go to amazon app and scroll through skills for something that might possibly be used at some point. Amazon estimates that there are now 10,000 skills that can be enabled and that only a small percent will be used a week after the user enables them. I haven’t had any issues with Alexa controlling if skill or ST gets used. yopu could rename your ST routine to something that won’t conflict with the Alexa skills also. I renamed bedtime to sleep.

Alexa, tell smartthings to sleep
ok (sleep routines runs)

Have you installed the askAlexa app by community developer @MichaelS ?


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #3

You could install EchoSistant…

I have a profile called “house”

I say, Alexa, tell the house (insert anything you want to say here)

And it runs muy sleep routine.

So, I can say, Alexa tell the house good night
Or Alexa, tell the house I’m going to bed
Or, Alexa, tell the house it is time for bed.

Works great

Take a look…

And the wiki here…

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=EchoSistant


(David Tucker) #4

Thanks for the tips. I have AskAlexa, but its a lot of work to update so I don’t often. I will investigate Echosistant too…that’s a new one for me.

I have found a workaround, instead of saying “run bedtime” I now find that “turn on bedtime” seems to force it to look for a device/routine in smart home, so it doesnt enable the maddening bedtime skill.

Hope this is useful for anyone else who gets caught out.


(Micheal ) #5

All skills that are community developed will be a lot of work. That is somewhat the nature of how Amazon has their skills. It is disappointing their new ‘open’ concept is actually causing people problems.

I would recommend being on the look out for the next version of Ask Alexa tomorrow…it will have some cool features. It WILL be a bear to upgrade as it changes the framework in almost all of the items. However, looking at this from the positive, it will allow your system to be even more responsive to what you want it to do.

Either way, thanks for the post!


(David Tucker) #6

Super. I will look out for it, and maybe this will prompt me to go through an overdue update. Just need to dig out all those Amazon passwords again…


(Micheal ) #7

Excellent…Going forward I am making the update process possibly better…I hope for LESS Amazon updates and more updates that are easily managed, like the IDE pieces.

If you go down the upgrade path, reach out if you run into issues.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #8

EchoSistant and askAlexa may seem similar at first, but they are built with extremely different end user experience philosophy.

I would say use both apps to really get the fullest ST experience.

It’s all about how you want to use Alexa.

Do you have any connected speakers like Sonos?


(David Tucker) #9

I dont have Sonos, but I do have an old hacked solution using a Neet Airstream and a HiFi that I could resurrect if useful.


(Glen King) #10

There are 9,842 garbage ‘skills’. I would far rather enable those I desire than have it auto-run stuff I don’t want.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #11

Well, if you can see them in smart things then they would be very useful… But even without them EchoSistant is extremely useful to the user…

Check out the videos in the first couple of posts on this thread…


(RH) #12

You don’t think magic 8 ball is a vital skill?


#13

tell a crazy fact isn’t vital? Who cares that the facts may not be true.


(RH) #14

I have to say, seriously, the “What’s New with Alexa” email I get is the most worthless set of “features” Imcan imagine. It’s like The Onion for tech. Must be embarrasing for the people forced to send it. I actually love my Echo and hope it leads to bigger and better things. I think it caught on more than they imagined and now they have to decide whether to,play with others or as Bezos likes to do…kill all competitors and own it all. IDK.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #15

My favorite was the…

Alexa is always getting smarter! Now you can ask her are fart joke!


#16

We are almost full circle in evolution. Fart jokes around fires as we grunt at a rock that will become a wheel. A millennia later, we now have fart jokes around a round object that is like a wheel of information and technology that makes you want to throw it across the room like a rock sometimes.


(Jeff) #17

Same complaint here. Every night I “run bedtime” to shut down my house lights and now as of a few days ago, Alexa asks me when I want to wake up. I hate this. I agree, we are now at the mercy of someone writing an Alexa skill with a common term and we are screwed. I told Alexa “disable Bed Time” and she said ok. I tried to run my Smarthings command “run bedtime” and Alexa had re-enabled the Bed Time skill. Ugh! I’m going to try to contact Amazon about it.


(RH) #18

Tell Alexa “never” and let us knw what she says. Hopefully she won’t kill you to oblige.


#19

It would be nice if my Alexa ask me that. Then I wouldn’t have to tell her another command to set alarm for whatever time I choose. It would be more conversation style that way also.
I have to tell Alexa about four commands at night; goodnight (sometimes multiply times when she refuses to acknowledge the routine), set alarm wake up time, play rain sounds, turn off rain sounds after set time.