SmartThings Community

Amazon Echo DOES Voice Notifications!


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #1

I have no idea if that has been done yet, I have done a little bit of a search with no results on this particular subject… But tonight I got my Amazon Echo to say, “The Front Door is Open” when my front door opened! It is customizable as to what I want it to say. It’s freakin Awesome!!!

Here is what you need to do

Follow this link and install all of the stuff it says.
DO NOT USE ver 1.1.14 of Big Talker, DO USE ver 1.1.13. TTS works in the older version and not the newer one.

After you do all of that stuff, do this

Connect your Android device to your Amazon Echo via Bluetooth.
Now your Echo will give you voice notifications.

What can you do with this??
You don’t have to use Echo, you can just use a bluetooth speaker or you can use the Android Device.
But how totally cool is it that Echo can do this?

You can have a BT speaker in different rooms of the house connected to a cheap Android device in those rooms. For example: Teen Boys room - Device and speaker in that room allows me to send custom phrases to the room. I can set up virtual switches in ST that Echo can control. Those switches, when activated, will trigger the system to send a phrase to the Teen boys device, ONLY!

Using the integration of the Android device, ST, and Amazon Echo the potential for this is unlimited.

I plan to have a device and speaker in the key rooms of the house. I can also have SmartTiles on those devices giving HA access to those rooms based on what I want them to have. I can also send custom speech phrases to each room individually or as a house wide group.

Yesterday (for me anyway) this was a great big wish. Now it’s a reality.

“Alexa, turn on the dinner time alert”. (and she says what I want her to say where I want her to say it!!!


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#2

This is just pairing the Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. We’ve always been able to do this.

The problem with this method, as opposed to native TTS, is that while the echo is paired as a Bluetooth speaker it can’t do anything else. So if you want to use it to send a voice notification to the teens in their room, no one else can use it during that time to turn lights on and off. Or ask it what’s on their calendar, or ask what the weather is, or anything else.

You have to unpair it as a speaker before it can go back to its usual state.

That will work for some households, but it’s not what most people are looking for with TTS.

edited to note that the description above is how Echo originally worked. As noted below, Echo Is now able to hear hone automation commands even when paired as a Bluetooth speaker. So a case where the features are ahead of the documentation. :sunglasses:


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

JD, I read this and my hopes and dreams were almost crushed… but luckily I worked for the government long enough to never every believe anything!!!

So, I just connected my Echo to my phone via bluetooth. I told her to turn on the kitchen lights, she did. As she was doing that I opened the front door, she then made that anouncement.

So, yes, this actually does work. You can pair a device to her and leave it paired and she still operates as normal.

But, I do note this little glitch - If she is in one of her monologues about the weather outside and the door opens, she keeps talking about the weather and in the background you can hear the door open notification.

But hey!!! My dreams are still in tact!!!


#4

if it works for you, that’s great. Maybe they’ve updated the pairing options. :sunglasses:

Let us know how it works out.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #5

ok. is it possible to upload videos on here?

I’ll make one


#6

OK, they have expanded the functionality for Bluetooth streaming, which is good. So you’re right, it will be able to listen even though you’ve paired it as a Bluetooth speaker.


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

You are just determined to crush my soul! ! ! Lol!

But, I am still connected via BT while playing a Prime music channel. I opened the front door.

Drum roll…

The music stopped, the announcement was made, the music restarted!

I think this is actually going to work!

Edit:
I had echo playing Pandora, told her to turn on the kitchen lights, and opened the front door all at the same time!

Music paused…
Lights came on…
Notification made…
Music restarted!


#8

Awesome! :sunglasses:


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

Does that mean I get to keep my dream??? hahahaha


Rule Machine Expert Features [deprecated]
(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #10

I ran a test on this. It does not disconnect from the bluetooth. It will stay connected to BT, play music, turn on lights, and sound the notification. I believe they’ve updated the system to a more accurate representation of true TTS. I’m not sure of that exact definition, but hey, it works!


(Benji) #11

@JDRoberts is an engineer, they just prefer to tell it like it is :smile:


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

I really think this is a great integration with ST and Amazon Echo. But the real thanks go to the guys that wrote all of the code and figured everything out in the link posted in the original post.

All I did was connect my phone to the Echo closest to me to see if it would work. The fact that we can use a tablet or an old phone with any bluetooth or any speaker that can receive a signal from an android device for TTS is great.

Just think, all of those folks on here using the tablets with Smart Tiles that have made them look so incredible hanging on the walls and stuff. Now, they can just put a small BT speaker somewhere in the room and send custom phrases to that particular device that are only applicable to that room. Or they can have General Whole House Messages go to everyone.

Honestly though, the potential on this is unlimited.

Now, @bravenel, can we get this into Rule Machine??? Lol


(Ernie) #13

Awesome find! I was just about to goto sleep when I saw this and had to try it out. Now Alexa can give me my household temperature report and my doors and locks report herself rather than playing through my tablet. She sounds much better.


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

What do you mean by “reports”???


(Ernie) #15

I use the Echo to trigger a virtual switch which activates Sharptools/Tasker to get info from my doors, locks, thermostat and other temperature sensors and then the Echo will give me the report. For example, I say Alexa, turn on door report and she will tell me if any doors are open or let me know that everything is secure. In this setup, I don’t use any other smartapp for speech. Response time is anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds depending on how many devices are being checked.


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

Ok, new project…

please oh please tell me how to do this!


(Ernie) #17

I actually use a Momentary button tile and not a virtual switch. Do you have any experience with Sharptools or Tasker? You will need both. After you have setup Sharptools I can walk you through the setting up of the profile and task in tasker.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #18

No, I have no experience with either of those.
But since I’ve discovered this very customizable TTS, I plan to put a tablet and speaker in several rooms throughout the house.

And I will definitely build these reports!

Even with the bugs, this system still amazes me.


(Ernie) #19

@joshua_lyon made Sharptools very easy to setup. You basically just need to authorize devices in Sharptools, like you do in the Alexa smartapp, and then subscribe to a devices attributes (contact, temperature etc) in Sharptools. Again easy to do, just long press on a device in Sharptools and a list pops up. After that, I can give you screenshots of my setup in Tasker.


#20

Fantastic! I have Sharptools and Tasker but I am very unfamilar on how to use them with SmartThings. I look forward to your tutorial!