[BETA] GOOGLE HOME HELPER-From the author of Ask Alexa

Well, today is the day that Google announced their new product line and as expected they announced Google Home, a ‘Alexa like’ device that DOES integrate with SmartThings.

Behind the scenes I have been prepping a version of Google Home Helper, a derivative work of Alexa Helper which I released at the beginning of the year. This will have (I hope) the same high level operation as the original Alexa did, requiring the native integration to be active. This will allow NON native things to be accessed (like locks, CORE pistons, routines, modes, etc) Outside of that, however, I have NO other information on the device or how it operates. I have a lot of lessons learned from that experience and need your help to develop this new application.

First, I find myself spending a lot of time on these apps and supporting them. While that is all great as I enjoy it, I DO have a full time job. What I would like to do is take some time off and JUST focus on developing this. However, I would love to see the community (or a specific community member) pre-order one of these devices for me to test against. They will be released on November 1st (ironically, my birthday), so I could commit to have something ready to beta test for that community member within a week. At that point I would say (if the integration goes well), I could start looking for donations to really develop this. I wouldn’t want to take anything before then as I need to ensure the same basic Alexa switch philosophy is in GH (Specifically, the ability to control virtual switches and dimmers).

Sorry to go all ‘capitalist’ on everyone, but these are eating into my life and don’t want my work life to suffer…taking time off to focus on this would really allow me to release something (hopefully) that will match the Alexa Helper’s popularity and usefulness. My eventual goal would be to have integration up to the level of Ask Alexa…but that requires Google to open the API up and I am not 100% sure that is possible at this time.

Thoughts? I did contemplate a Kickstarter, but that seems even MORE greedy and I would be more on the hook to deliver something for sure…that I can not do without the device in hand to test it.

Let me know…if I am crazy, let me know…but enough folks on here know my track record with Alexa so I am not going to simply take the money and run…if this is proof, here is a screen shot of my development (I know…not much proof…I created an icon :))


Great work, Michael … and great possibilities!

But there’s no way you’re going to get enough donations to financially justify taking time off work.

Kickstarter or IndieGogo for software is rarely successful, especially for such a niche market (just SmartThings users, right?).

It is a very tough situation for SmartThings entrepreneurs.


Agreed on all points…but I have ‘handlers’ that would at least be satisfied I am doing something constructive (i.e. making some $$$) other than things around the house if I were to take a vacation and only sit at the computer :slight_smile:


You ought to chat with @625alex :wink:.

We chat all of the time…in fact I worked with @SBDOBRESCU to get Adrian an Echo…hoping we could do the same here to get me a Google Home.

@MichaelS, do chat with me. Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons.


@MichaelS you have a solid track record, great innovation mindset and boss like skills to back it up. However you decide to proceed I’m certain the community will want to support you.

I’m also certain ST and Google should be squabbling over how they can snap you up into their respective organizations to further their roadmap.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Rather than Kickstarter, maybe setup a GoFundMe for this?

I think it would be a better fit and I’m certain you’d get more than the required funds to get one of the devices.


I agree with this as well. In fact I am happy to fund half of the device if we are going to setup a fund for this. The question is… are you sure you want to take time off for this? It’s kind of hard to justify to your spouse even with house work.

We have a good understanding…I think it will be fine :slight_smile:
I will look into the gofundme…


Ok…looking at this I don’t think I will do a gofundme…at this point I am just looking for someone (or a group of folks) to fund the purchase of one of these so that it arrives in November. Whoever funds this will get exclusive access to the app before everyone else (translation, they get to be the beta testers).

The more I read about this the more it feels like an Alexa on steroids. I will be honest, the initial release of my app will ONLY be as functional as Alexa Helper was…you will need to use virtual switches and the context of On and Off for all of your scenarios. However, that may be enough. Right now I see no way to query devices, but that may be coming, in which case I may eventually create a version of Ask Google Home that mirrors Ask Alexa; however, with the syntax of how it will operate completely different that app will take longer to develop.

Anyway, who is up for getting me one of these devices on pre-order?


PM me your PayPal address. Consider it mutual respect from another popular SmartThings Community Developer :wink: :raised_hands:.


I would like to publicly thank Terry for the purchase price of the Google Home…It is now on order!

I am confident I can get the app working done by the end of November. Anyone interested in donations to be on a beta list, please paypal me here: https://www.paypal.me/mstruck

Be sure in the comments to send me your e-mail address and say you want to be part of the beta program. You will be the first to be able to try this out. As typical, there will be instructions posted that you will be able to reference to get this installed.

Thanks again, Terry!!!


Just made a donation. Can’t wait for beta testing. 3 most love developer apps. SmartTiles, CoRE and Alexa Helper. This will be awesome.

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I saw that…thank you…as soon as I get a beta in place I will send you a link…Do you have a Google Home on order as well?

Not yet but I have plan to get both Google home and pixel.

Excellent…I will put you on the beta test. I appreciate the donation.

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I ordered 2 Google Home’s this morning! Finally the Echo will have some competition.

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FYI…The device is en-route to me right now…I anticipate getting it by next week and then releasing a beta test out to those that donated by the end of November if not sooner…From there we will see how it goes.


I got the 2 Homes that I ordered.

They seem to kick ST and Hue commands faster than Alexa does.

So far I like them. They have the same amount of functionality with 3rd party apps that Alexa did when it came out.