SmartThings Community

Amazon Echo rolls out Echo Spatial Perception

Since I started this thread I figure I can hijack it…

Back in September Amazon sent an email promoting Echo’s election skills, for example “Alexa, what’s the latest with Donald Trump?” So I tried it out:

“Alexa, what’s the latest with Gary Johnson?”

She responded with:

“Sorry, I don’t have the answer to that question.”

OK, so I tried it last night figuring they will now have something and I get:

“Sorry, I don’t have the answer to that question.”

So I go to the app where you can indicate “Did Alexa do what you wanted?”.

Today I get an email response:

“I’m sorry, but I wasn’t able to determine exactly what kind of help you need and the issue you are facing from your email. so I’ll need more details to help you with your issue.”

From what I read, if you press mute on Alexa and leave it alone for 30 minutes or so it should trigger a firmware update (if available). I left 2 of mine on mute all night but I am still at 4008. I can’t wait for 4148 as these two particular Alexas keep competing on answering as it is really annoying especially when you have to go to two different rooms to tell them to STOP. Hopefully ESP will fix that for good! If it doesn’t I might have to buy a baseball bat :wink:

Guys… I’m telling you it does NOT require a firmware update. I have 4008 and ESP works great. All within earshot light up but only the closest answers.

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I just tested this and it worked great. Now, they need the ability to assign certain devices/groups to certain devices. For example, I want to have an activity “Turn on Television ESPN” turn on the tv in the room where the Alexa is. I would love to setup 4 different groups with the name Television ESPN and each assigned to a different Harmony Hub and Alexa.

The way it’s setup now, this would turn on ESPN on all 4 of my tv’s via Harmony/Yonomi integration.


thanks for the clarification since I did not read the article.

Unfortunately I prefer the previous behavior so I could yell to 2 Echo’s in order for both to play the Flash Update while I roam the house for the morning preparation for the day’s work.

I hope Amazon implements Echo play grouping - is this proposed or known by another name?

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I sent Amazon a suggestion a while back where you can create a echo specific group so that you can tell it to “turn on light” or whatever, and it knows which one you are talking about… Right now I had to give long names to all my devices so that they are unique. The format is room name followed by standard device name… “Master Bedroom Light” gets to be a bit annoying to say when you could just say “turn on light”. I think you are saying the same thing so I would suggest to email Amazon with the feature request :slight_smile:

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4148 was probably for Amazon Music.

@beckwith - How can you tell when ESP is active on your Echos?

When I say “Alexa” those within sight light up, but only the closest answers. Further, my Internet was down for a minute this morning and one that did not yet connect answered that it was down while only one of the others answered.

Amazon did not send me a notice nor can I see a version number you can reference indicating I have ESP. It just works. My conclusion is a cloud platform update.

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They need to roll out whole home audio sync playback with these things. I have a Echo, 2 dots and 2 new dots on order. If I could get them to sync music across the board, Id be fully content with them.

The caveat here would be if I wanted to control some SH stuff, only one stops playing music when listening and performing the request, then resumes music. It would need to perform like this.

Im not an audiophile, but my family likes to have BG music in the evenings.


Mine work and I’m on 4008.

I have 3 but I tried on the two that I can see at the same time.

When I say “Alexa” They both light up, but one bows out rather quickly.

Finally I don’t have to give them 3 different names.

Now it would be great if my music or Audio books would play across all 3 so I can listen while moving from one room to another.


Right now only those within earshot stop. But that is how you want it so it can clearly hear you.

Yes, the problem is, not all the names work. For example, I tried “Turn on Living Room Nick Jr.”, and it doesn’t work, where as “Turn on Bedroom Nick Jr.”. does. Once I find a name that works, I want to stick with it.

Exactly, but the whole home music sync isnt available yet, so my comment is really moot.

Alexa typically gets all of mine right. My naming convention is - for example:

Master Bedroom Fan
Master Bedroom Table Lamp
Master Bathroom Light
Living Room Light
Marco’s Bedroom Light
Marco’s Bedroom White Noise

I am guessing that certain words are ignored so you need enough for Alexa to still differentiate which device you are talking about. Also, “JR.” might be adding to the problem. As a test, try to spell it out to “junior”. I believe there are one or more threads on ST regarding Echo naming quirks.

One of them is:

The one that fails 80% of the time is “Turn on nook light” (breakfast nook). Any other name suggestions would be welcome…

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Try “turn on breakfast light.” sometimes it’s just a matter of how you say a particular word, particularly if it’s less common.

Either that, or Amazon has installed a “no Nooks!” Filter. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thanks, but Echo’s naming quirks are sometimes hard to get around. I tried spelling it out, abbreviating it, etc. It also happened with my other TV activities. Living Room Lights works, Living Room NBC, didn’t. Its my biggest complaint about the Echo.

No I have it signed up and played fine before one updated

I had an air conditioner in the bedroom. I called it bedroom cooler because I didn’t want to call it air conditioner because I didn’t want Alexa (or Siri) to think I was talking about a thermostat.

It seemed that I could turn on the bedroom cooler, but turn off bedroom cooler, she would say okay but nothing would happen. I opened the Alexa app and she heard turn off bedroom cooler, but didn’t turn it off.

Finally I turned on live logging in SmartThings and even thought the Alexa app heard turn off bedroom cooler, Live logging showed the command that went to SmartThings was turn of bedroom chair. I changed the name of the air conditioner to the cooler and it works fine now.

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I had emailed Amazon tech support earlier today and as @beckwith said, 4008 already supports ESP. This is a part of what I got from their tech support:

I understand you’d like to confirm the firmware version required for ESP feature on Alexa.

I’d like to inform you that, your firmware version is updated to recent one, which requires for ESP (Echo Spatial Perception) (i.e. 4008). With ESP, If you have more than one Alexa device using the same wake word (for example, two Echo devices using “Alexa” as a wake word), Alexa chooses the device closest to you to respond to your request using ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). ESP uses the volume and proximity of the spoken request. Nearby Alexa devices that happen to recognize the same wake word won’t respond to the request.

I tried it and it actually works nicely… not perfect but way better than before! Super happy here! :slight_smile: Also my wife will finally stop griping at it :stuck_out_tongue: