Amazon Echo not recognized as speech or music device in ST?


(Jason F) #1

I just got an echo and I’m working on making it play with ST for more than just telling it to turn on and off lights.

I want to set up voice confirmation for a couple different actions and in both @bravenel’s Rule Machine and the ST native “Speaker Notify with Sound” apps, when I try to select the device which should play the confirmation message, the Echo isn’t available as a choice (in the case of RM, it doesn’t appear as a speech OR music device).

Is the Echo not capable of doing this or am I doing something wrong? It otherwise seems fully integrated into ST - I can see all the real and virtual devices that I’ve added and it can control them - just not getting this part to work.

Thanks for any help!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

The Echo is currently not capable of doing this … i.e., it cannot initiate speech or music playback without the wake word and a verbal request from the user. Everyone is hoping this will change.

The Echo supports Bluetooth playback, so perhaps the Hub V2 bluetooth chip will eventually offer this capability.

Meanwhile, there are some complex (?) workarounds that involve running a VLC or other playback process with various speaker options, including Bluetooth connection to your Echo. Give the forum a search for those configurations.


[RELEASE] Text to Alexa, "Tell me a joke","did Chelsea win?" or any question
(Jason F) #3

Thanks for your reply!

And yeah, I’ve been reading some of the threads about the workarounds and using tablets and phones and whatnot as ways to do this, but it just seemed so damn simple to add as a rule! Oh well. Maybe I’ll play with those.

I’d like to see that Echo integration changed for ST - it’s be so nice and Star Trek-y!

Also stupid that BT is still broken in ST, but there are plenty of other problems with the system. I’m too dumb to figure out openHAB, HomeGenie, and the like, so here I am!

What I really wish is that ST Anything worked with mySensors, but that’s a whole 'nother ball of wax…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

It’s not “broken”; it is an unofficial and, as yet, unactivated feature. Read the box – no Bluetooth logo, right?


(Jason F) #5

I know it’s not technically broken, but it’s built in there and it doesn’t work, so I consider it broken anyway! :slight_smile:

Like I said, though - that’s not much of an issue for me. Not as much as not being able to use the USB ports to connect a hard drive! Would love to be able to record camera footage to a local source - especially when using an old android as a dumb IP camera.


(Jason F) #6

In any case, I’ve gone way off topic. Thanks for your original answer. It’s not what I wished, but now I know!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

I doubt this will ever be an option: SmartThings has to protect their future revenue streams for fee-based cloud-storage of video. It’s technically more secure, as a thief can’t steal the video of their invasion.


(Jason F) #8

I get that. Still, like the BT, it makes me wonder why they’re there. Not like I need another place to charge my phone…


#9

Echo does not currently support text to speech. Nothing to do with smart things, Amazon just hasn’t added that. A lot of people would like to see it, so put in a feature request through your Amazon app.

Echo can act as a Bluetooth speaker, which means it can be done, as you noted, with a workaround but you have to have another device.

The following thread shows One way to do it. You’ll see several posts from me which are skeptical, basically asking “really?” But, yeah, really. They found a way to make it work. But it’s not using the text-to-speech feature, which is why it doesn’t show up in the base rules you’ve been looking at. But again, not a SmartThings issue – – it’s Amazon which hasn’t yet supported text to speech. As soon as they do add that feature to echo, it should be usable in SmartThings.


(Jason F) #10

Thanks @JDRoberts - I get that it’s an echo issue. I have been reading through that thread - unfortunately the older galaxy 10.1 tablet I want to use as a main dashboard doesn’t do Android 5.x, so I’ve been reading the thread linked in that topic about using tasker and sharptools - somewhat more of a complicated setup. Maybe I’ll pick up a newer, cheap tablet and try the way you linked.

Curious if either of you know this: can ST change the current Echo user profile based on rules/modes/etc? (Meaning changing from user1 to user2, but not otherwise modifying the profiles.) The only way I can currently see of doing it is by issuing a voice command to Alexa.


(Jason F) #11

I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier in this conversation, because I was listening to a damn Kindle book on my Echo last night (I know why - I’m an idiot!), but TTS has been added to the Echo, at least in limited form.

See here: http://lovemyecho.com/2016/01/13/tts-comes-to-amazon-echo-alexa-can-read-kindle-books-now/

I wonder if there’s a sneaky way to access it with ST…


#12

Not yet.

That’s a closed system, the book has to be in your Kindle library and you have to use the Read command.

Not the same thing as an open API that has TTS features.


(Jason F) #13

I wonder if there’s a way to include variables (you know, for lock or contact sensor status) in small, custom kindle files that are initiated by a voice command -> virtual switch -> tasker/sharptools or LANnouncer. Something like “The following doors are open <$VAR>.”

Not sure if you can actually send information to Echo or if it has to request it (or if this falls under the required wakeup word that @tgauchat talked about in his first reply to this thread).


(Jason F) #14

Also, did you know that on this “forum,” typing <$VAR> without the “$” (or whatever) leaves a blank space? I wonder why that is?


#15

I suggest you talk to the people in the following thread. :sunglasses:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #16

See …

I think we have two Topics concurrently going on now that could be merged, perhaps, @slagle :wink: .


(Jason F) #17

Ah - I saw that one but thought it was just for texting stuff to Echo, so I didn’t read all the way down. I see he’s published a speech update. I’ll dive into it. Thanks.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #18

Yes… The Forum parses some input as HTML unless you surround with back quote. ````````` `