BigTalker 2.0 -- Development

Make sure you are not trying to store any event or device into state. It would cause an error like that.

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Thanks. After much tinkering around, I am back in business. I’ve been stalled from this issue for quite some time. I’m making progress now… Thanks for your advise @ady624 !!!


Maybe you could have a no music flag for those of us that just use this to announce things, where if no music is set, it gives the option to play a Chime, say “alert, alert” or what ever, so we make a conscious effort to listen for the message. Or maybe even a flag to play messages twice, in a busy, noisy house, I find myself more often than not wondering what the heck did that thing just say.

Is 2.0 still in the works or out and I’m not finding it?
I’m currently using BigTalker with Smasung WiFi speakers and run a second copy of the app with Lannouncer and Echo Dots via Bluetooth.

I also run a 3 copy of BigTalker to send Smoke, CO2, and leak alerts to the WiFi speakers. I run this copy so the volume can be set much louder then other alerts.

Music plays in the house through the WiFi speakers most of the day. I like to have general announcements such as arrivals/departures, doors opening or left open etc. come through at the same volume as the music playing.

As a feature request, would it be possible to add the ability to set the volume per device group.
Having the ability to set a default volume is great but it would be nice to be able to set a higher level for alerts such as smoke, CO2, and leaks.

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Sweet so I seem to have had a good week of successful app installs. 3 that I’m working with are askalexa, echosistant and I just finished with big talker. I do need some help as everything works fine I just don’t know to much of its capabilities. Am I correct in saying you can input your own special commands like chimes and alarms and weather. Where is this done at? Is it copy and paste? What I’d like is to configure an event triggered by motion in the morning to give me a local weather report. Is this possible with bigtalker? When looking at some how to use instructions it seems like there’s a lot of copy paste commands or variables. Not sure where or how to use these. Anyways if I can get a little help I’m sure I can fiddle around and learn more of big talkers capabilities.

Check the first post in this thread. It shows all the options that you can use with BigTalker.

I for one would love the best of both worlds.

  1. Speech synthesizer for announcements, from switches etc.
  2. Music playing in the same app

I use this to mostly play announcements, but I do like my music.

  1. More slots to set up switches, 3 isn’t enough for me, but for others three is enough.

So far I am impressed, and looking forward to continue testing the Beta.

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Another example would be to create a virtual switch that is turned ON in the morning by your Good Movariables at rtine, and then OFF at night with your Good Night routine. Then set up a Big Talker Switch Event tied to that switch’s ON event that speaks “Good Morning. %weathercurrent%

This would be what I would want to do. I’m just not sure how to do this. It says I can put in the variables at runtime? How? Where?. Specifically the %weathercurrent% and such others. I don’t see where I modify these variables. I’m getting close and I’m reading everything I can to figure it out. I’m kinda slow in the brain today though

Once you have BigTalker installed, Go into it from the SmartThings mobile app > Automation > SmartApps > Then Big Talker (or Big Talker-DEV if your trying the latest development version). Once you are in BigTalker go to the Configure Events page then for example Switch. Tap on the Switche(es) section under Group 1 (or 2 or 3) and select all of the switches that you want to speak the Group 1 (or 2 or 3) phrases, then press Done. Now in the field “Say this when switch is turned ON”, change the text to your desired phrase, this is where you type what you want spoken and in this location is where you would also type the token/variables as you want them in the phrase. The token/variables in your phrase, for example %currentweather%, are replaced with the desired text when the switch event occurs.

For example if you want Switch Group 1 to always say "Greetings, " followed by what the current weather is when a switch is turned on, you would type Greetings, %weathercurrent% in this field. %weathercurrent% will be replaced with the current weather when the switch event occurs.

There is a list of available tokens/variables if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the event group that you are configuring (switches, motions, etc) to the Help section and press on Phrase Tokens. These are for reference as to what you can type into the desired phrase that you want spoken.

I hope this helps.

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I’m still working on the 1.9, 1.10 version.
2.0 will likely be a parent/child app and will require some major surgery to get it as needed for that with cleaner code.
Many of the changes being incorporated into 1.9/1.10 (Such as triggering on Smart Home Monitor status change, etc) will flow into 2.0.

Thanks for the suggestions. I hope that with 2.0, I can eliminate the need for users to install multiple instances and allow unlimited event groups. Volume per event group seems like a good idea as well, thanks for the request.

I think that’s exactly the information I needed. I will try that later but now it makes sense. Thanks for your prompt reply. My Saturday ST puzzle shall be completed. What’s next.

I edited my post slightly just for accuracy sake. I said %currentweather% in the example and I should have said %weathercurrent%.

AskAlexa and CoRE are a couple of good ones. CoRE is a very powerful logic (rules) engine. It can take a bit to wrap your mind around. AskAlexa opens the door for what your Amazon Echo can do, if you have one.

@JDRoberts just notified me about this Wiki he setup to help people find what SmartApps/Device Handlers, etc that they want or could use. This might steer you along in your quest for home automation awesomeness!:

I didn’t set up the wiki, @obycode did, I are usually just tell people about it. There have been a lot of contributors. :sunglasses:

Yes last week I got ask alexa back up and running thanks a ton to Michael struck. I’m also testing echosistant as well. I’ve installed core before and yes I think it’s going to take a little wrapping my head around. Keeping things simple for the moment but I’m glad everything is working you guys created some well integrated apps for the numerous echos I have around the house. Even if I’m the only house member using it, lol. Thanks for your help I’m sure I’ll have plenty more questions later on as I always do.

I’ve finally figured this out.
Personality option is coming to BigTalker in the next couple of weeks and will be expanded upon/adjusted based on feedback. It will be introduced in 1.1.13. Send me a PM if you would like to beta test it once I get to that point.


I have to say if my wife loves the personality, then it is a big hit. I would love to see more of this. Ready to test next version, when you are ready.

quote=“rayzurbock, post:5, topic:55305”]
Ability to add a chime prior to each message would be good (or designate to play a chime prior to a specific message ie: door opening or window opening etc)

I’ve had some requests to play a beep tone or something prior to playing a message.This is problematic. BigTalker supports both speechSynthesis device handlers and musicPlayer device handlers. The speechSynthesis device handlers can typically only receive text where they convert that to audible speech. Sending a pre/post tone to these would be impossible. The musicPlayer device handlers could likely do this; however I am afraid it would likely break the ability to resume music playing on the device (ie: Mozart playing > BT requests the musicPlayer play the beep tone > BT then requests the musicPlayer plays the speech file for your phrase > The musicPlayer receives the request to resume play, but there have now been 2 other sounds played since Mozart was playing; likely the beep sound is what gets resumed). I’m not sure this is implementable in a clean non-hack manner.

I have start to make custom (merging) mp3 files using a couple of steps so that I have a chime or other noise alert prior to a message playing and then storing them in AWS S3 for URI playback using CoRE. Have not played with BT in a bit so I am not sure if ARI playback is possible.

Here are some quick steps for each message:

  1. Find the chime mp3 that you want and store locally on your PC.
  2. Using this link: I create a TTS mp3 and download the file locally. Note this site can be slow to create the mp3 from time to time.
  3. Using The Magnificent Playlist Producer Lite ( To merge the chime mp3 and the TTS mp3. I also insert a 1 second delay between the 2 mp3.
  4. Post back to AWS S3 and use a SmartApp like CoRE to play the URI or BT if URI is possible.

Hope it helps.

The more I play with this, the more I like it. I love the personality, I would love to see more of this and more random. Short and long personality suggestions etc.

BigTalker 2.0 first Alpha released.
Looking for feedback and usage/test results.
Alpha/Beta version note: Please only install if you are willing to install a likely buggy SmartApp and assist with testing and development. You need to know how to view/copy/paste live logging data into a PM. I do test on my own system before publishing, but I don’t test everything. I also don’t release development versions until I believe they are mostly operational and I need feedback and help with further testing.

Note there are now two apps from the repository to install.
The Parent needs to be installed and published.
The Child needs to be installed, not published (it will not hurt if it is published, but may cause confusion as it will show up in your SmartApps list but all configuration must be done through the Parent app which creates the child apps.

This version should allow you to have unlimited schedules, unlimited event groups (3 per child app, but unlimited in number of child apps).
It also starts the implementation of personality (primarily only on light switch on/off events at this time) to phrases if you choose. It will add personality to the beginning and/or ending of your selected phrase. The personality is chosen based on the device name (ie: kitchen light where light is the keyword) and change (on/off). There are also some generic personality phrases thrown in to mix things up. Personality can be enabled/disabled on the Configure Defaults page.

If you have requested a feature in the past and do not see it in this version, please note, the Parent/Child app was #1 priority before adding other major features. I plan to review your requests and add more (including more personality) before the actual 2.0 release. Your requests have been heard!

This is very very alpha and very limited in testing. If you don’t mind some possibly buggy code give it a shot and PM me some feedback on bugs and such. How’s the configuration flow, etc… ?

There are two options for install, GitHub or Raw code:

UPDATE: 11:02PM CST - Parent/Child 2.0.a2 released
UPDATE: 4/6/2017 12:45PM CST - Updated Parent/Child Raw Code links


Also, Thanks to @Drew650 for this video highlighting VLCThing and BigTalker!