Amazon Echo + Custom Commands in Device Handler?

Has anyone had luck with creating custom commands in a handler and consistently have Echo execute those commands?

I have a smartapp and handler where I am trying to control all of my home audio/video devices. I’m using IR control to control most devices, so I have to create several virtual devices and manage all of the commands in a handler for each on, off, mode, scenario, etc.

The basics all seem to work well if I have a device named for the function that I want to do. This then fires the ON command, which I then catch the name of the calling device and do the action based on that. (“Theater Movie” “On” runs a set of commands to turn everything on) I’d prefer to just have a “Theater” device and then build a custom “Movie” command in the handler…

I’m having very little luck with device names and use of custom commands that Alexa will recognize and fire the command. In most cases, the ON fires, not the custom command/method. Or, Alexa says
"I could not find device Theater Movie". She tries to combine the device + command in her search for the device.

Does anyone have any good examples of usage here or other things I should try?

I’m not quite following what you’re asking for here. The only thing that echo itself can do is pass along a request to SmartThings to turn something on or off. Or set dim level.

The way around that is to create your own Alexa skill and then you can pass parameters.

There is already a very sophisticated community built skill for this purpose called askAlexa. It will require that you sign up for an Amazon developers account and that you have a device to act as a server for the skill. But then you can do almost anything with it. It has become very popular and you will find much discussion of it in the forums.

The documentation for it is in the community – created wiki. See if that gets you any closer to what you’re looking for.

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Thanks for the insight. It’s possible I’m not explaining things correctly since I am new to this. I was referring to creating commands in a handler that are not handled by its capabilities. And, in a control tile, you can define the action to execute the custom command. I just wasn’t sure how you have Alexa reference those custom actions by name. Maybe I’m just asking for something that is not supported with Echo.

I’ll take a look at the skills, which seems like this will get the job done; albeit probably more complex work involved. Thanks!

echo only supports a few native commands, specific to dimmers, switches and thermostats.
On/Off/Setlevel, don’t know what the thermostat ones are.
There’s nothing preventing you from creating a virtual device type that supports capability switch, dimmer or thermostat, than internally mapping those commands to custom commands in the DTH

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Or, you could install Ask Alexa!

Hi All,

I really need some help.

I need to know how to create a “Http Get” command for this url “

If this can be done we can control any of the following devices using Amazon Echo within a second.


Set Top boxes
Blu ray players
Apple TV
the list go on.

I have it working with IFTTT however it takes up to 10 seconds to change the television channel or Sky.