Amazon Alexa announces support for scenes

alexa

(Beckwith) #1

Announcing Scenes for Smart Home Skills


(Jimmy) #2

Yup. They actually released it before the official announcement it seems


(Andrea Bianco) #3

Has anyone been into the Alexa App today after the roll out of scenes and actually used it yet? Have you found if you had “virtual switches” to control your “routines” that is no longer functioning? She will request that a group be set up? You are being asked to disable those that contains devices unsupported by Alexa - see screen shot below.
What are all of the CoRE users doing ? Executing through ASK ALEXA APP ONLY? With all the LOGIC in such rule engines I can’t imagine you would abort OR would not want the ability to VOICE command the rules in your home, nor would you be inclined to set up “Scenes/ Groups” in Alexa (possibly duplicating work already done - on ST/other HUB) and not being as complex as you have needed.

Interested in feedback -


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #4

Looking at the names of the disabled Iran’s I’m willing to bet that every single one of those has a door lock in it.

Alexa and the ST routines works just fine with virtual switches and mode changes …

If you want your locks to work then create a virtual switch and tie it to the lock in CoRE.

Edit to add this…

I have created routines that have no actions. I create a piston in CoRE that uses the routine executed as the trigger. I have Alexa find the routine. I tell her to execute the routine and she does. The piston then fires as a result. No VS required and my pistons are voice activated.


(Andrea Bianco) #5

Not all have locks… example gentle light stuff - just a lamp - it is a controller though right- not the SWITCH itself. So anything THEY don’t recognize is effected. j
I understand what you are saying… but I would think for MANY people this is a BIG change… it is for me … without notice as well. I am looking for feedback to take to AMAZON - Feel free to PM if you are interested in providing feedback (to Amazon) on this matter.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #6

I know we’ve talked about these in the past… please refresh my memory… what do you mean?


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #7

Is this the one in your picture that isn’t disabled?


(Andrea Bianco) #8

yes - sorry - you are correct.
when I have called these virtual switches (that are really just the turn on exe for a routine) they DO NOT work. Some routines (naturally occur without VOICE automation - I cannot SPEAK Good Morning " without coffee first - that has to exe on motion let dangling out of bed) but others are for voice execution … That only makes sense (in my logic anyway). Some just needed more of less for a “mode” change etc …

I just think that perhaps this is a concern for users. . . I have already reached out to an Evangelist @ Amazon …


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #9

Ok. Gotcha, I think. So… what exactly is the device in those routines that is causing them to be disabled? It can’t be modes or virtual switches…


(Andrea Bianco) #10

oh I hate to ASS U ME — I am leaning towards, it is the VIRTUAL SWITCH itself that calls the ROUTINE - not WITHIN the routine … but this is a guess of course. . . They (Amazon) would NOT have attributes for the Virtual switch - so she does not get TURN ON {VS} to start off … And Amazon “wants” you to put those [devices] in a scene… well YOU hard CoRE users certainly wont / can’t do that with the DEEP logic that is built into a CoRE - it isn’t a SIMPLE ON / OFF

Does that make sense ?


(Andrea Bianco) #11

To boot - IMO this is to compete/accomodate NOT having to have a HUB - reaching out the YONOMI type users - who want to plug in a light and turn off ALL at night … type of thing


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #12

Ok… I’m not trying to be a pestering pia… since this is something new there are going to be a lot of questions about it… so I want to fully understand.

I have the following:

VS that initiates a piston
VS that is a harmony activity
VS within routines
VS that calls routines
VS that opens and closes my garage door
Routines that activate pistons

None of these are disabled in my Alexa mobile app.

I do NOT have any Smart locks.

Note ~ interesting thing about my garage door. I’m using a custom dth for my garage door. ST sees it as both a door as a switch. If I choose the switch in the routine it works with Alexa. If I choose the for, it is disabled.


(Andrea Bianco) #13

Thank you for that feedback and detail, I appreciate it (I never see it as PIA - it is Learning and sharing). Clearly what you are experiencing doesn’t follow what I am seeing … Your VS 's are working - Alexa is not requesting them to be disabled - correct? You can invoke “alexa, turn on {VS}” the VS that executes a ROUTINE?
She gives me a long dialog, including “I found more than one device with that name XXX” (finding the VS and ROUTINE I think) please give them unique names or create a group if you want to control them simultaneously"
This is when asking “Alexa, Turn on FLIP HOME” which is a VS that executes “FLIP HOME ROUTINE”

Until this evening this was all flawless. I guess I don’t like “people” messing with my stuff - especially without notice. That “Don’t touch my stuff” thing I have, what can I say?! {Control?}

Do you “think” the change has hit your system is my next question? When Amazon makes these type of changes I KNOW definitively it does not happen for 100% of users at the exact same time… they are “batched” if you will.

I just am bracing here - it is only mild anxiety at the moment … and If TEAM CORE isn’t ready - wooahhh :slight_smile: Just looking out for all you pioneering over there!


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #14

This is a very huge possibility. I will update here if there are any changes.

While this had been working for you in the past, I have had trouble with this in the past. Mostly of you change the first or second word of the name it tends to work.

Alexa really only likes names about 3 syllables long. Anything longer can cause problems especially if multiple names are almost identical.


(Andrea Bianco) #15

I have not had a naming problem (ONE of the things I learned early on I suppose - proper names work much better than nouns).

thank you for your feedback - I am pretty sure this is effecting the Virtual switches that control other things with LIKE names. . . I will keep watching … may have to rename some things. Mind you she never DISCOVERED the ROUTINES before so a VS with a like name never mattered - Until today !
You can’t imagine what “re-naming” does - old dog / new tricks ugh …

Thanks again Jason… Someday I am going to get you to teach me CoRE ! :slight_smile:


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #16

Oh trust me… I know!!!
I was going to do done renaming a while back… when I was at around 100 devices… I reprogrammed everything instead. Now I’m over 150… still haven’t renamed a dann thing!

You’ve got to dig into CoRE. It’s right up your ally. The logic is fantastic. The flexibility is golden. You can literally do anything with it .

My favorite automation is my master bathroom. It’s amazing!

Multiple levels of automation… and mode integration as well.

I’m very proud of it… lol


(Andrea Bianco) #17

As you should be ! I admire CoRE and all it does / abilities, fantastic work !


(Christopher Masiello) #18

This is just one more example of why Echo is my favorite consumer electronics gadget that I’ve ever owned. It does what it does VERY WELL and constantly adds subtle little things that just make sense. Isn’t it nice to have a device that delivers these nice little surprises like clockwork?
Can’t wait to go to work on this.


(Marc) #19

This is great. I just wish they would organize the Alexa app now as the list of devices, groups, etc is very long and it’s hard to scroll through and find things now.

A couple of observations…you need to activate routines by “Turn on…”. For garage doors or blinds, this still feels unnatural. Also, Alexa still struggles with certain words such as “Turn On Open Blinds”. (She ignores Open).

I will continue to use IFTTT for these reasons in certain situations.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #20

Just use askAlexa.