Alexa: Why bother with ST integration?


(Jonny Wilson) #1

I got my Amazon Echo delivered yesterday. I love it!

I got it integrated with my Hue Lighting straight away and then my SmartThings. I have to ask the question though, why did SmartThings even bother? I can’t actually do anything productive with my ST integration at all.

I can turn on my lights with ST… but hang on, I can do this with Hue. So if I use ST, I am doing three hops, from Alexa, to ST and the Hue; when I could just do two - Alexa to Hue.

I was expecting so much more from SmartThings such as being able to query the state of my ST Multi Sensors, get their temperature, their open or closed state and more.

Are there any plans to implement such changes?


(Karl Harris) #2

i was thinking the same thing! i cancelled my order of UK version in wait for google home. With any luck, they have seen whats been liked and disliked with echo and will dominate!


#3

Although I haven’t really used it, I’m guessing control of things like virtual switches, power outlets etc are all made possible so I could, for example, turn my christmas tree on and off using voice if its plugged in to a power outlet or perform actions only when everyone is home (via a virtual switch set based on the status of multiple presence sensors)


(Marc) #4

I control my zWave blinds and lights with Alexa via ST integration. Virtual switches is the key to success on the ST platform in general and especially with integrations such as Harmony, Alexa and IFTTT.

Check out the Ask Alexa app if you want to query devices.


(Jonny Wilson) #5

What are Virtual Switches?


#6

Alexa turns switches on and off. That’s her basic function. She is a voice operated switch flipper. Some switches will be in ST that Alexa cannot control directly on it’s own. Not everybody uses Hue lights or Nest thermostat or other brands that Alexa has direct control over. Check out askAlexa and CoRE, together they can increase the usefulness of Alexa. Alexa cannot run your ST routines directly, but with askAlexa it can integrate and run them. Google Home is being released in a few days also.

from the wiki:
A virtual switch is the software equivalent of a device which has no physical hardware. Most commonly used for switches to represent a particular state or to provide an interface to external systems like IFTTT.


#7

With Ask Alexa, I can ask my Alexa abt my door status via ST, whether it’s close or open :sunglasses:

With ST, I can automate my light on when I go in to the room, wo speak a word…

I can ask my Alexa to turn my tv on with ST…

These are just some examples, do take a close look at what is avail in ST.


#8

most of the time it work even with actual switches


(Jonny Wilson) #9

Sorry - I think I am missing something. Is “Ask Alexa” a skill or a third party App I install on ST?

Because when I just ask Alexa about ST door sensors, she has not clue what I am talking about - is this USA only?


#10

#11

askAlexa is an app created by a community member here. CoRE is also. Both are useful, check them out.


(Joe) #12

Use ask Alexia it what I dreamed of a true integration


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #13

One of the best aspects of SmartThings is its ability to be an endpoint for a custom Alexa skill. ‘Ask Alexa’ is a good alternative for folks who don’t want to roll their own.


#14

In fairness, if you’re willing to wait for the next great thing, you’ll never buy anything. There’s always a brighter sunrise just the other side of tonight.


(Karl Harris) #15

I already have the us echo… The reason i preordered uk one is because I wanted a white one


#16

If you don’t have a Hue but have other ZWave/Zigbee bulbs, this is a great addition. You can also run your Routines, operate your Harmony Hub remote to turn on your home theatre (for example). As others have said, if you use the Ask Alexa skill, you can query all your devices and control them, the macro report function is incredible…