Challenge: get Google Home (or Alexa) to recognize sensor status as a switch status

Why, you ask?

I’ve found that you can trick Google into accepting sensors as thermostats to report temperature, for example. You can also trick Google into accepting a sensor as a switch, but when you ask about on/off it simply says it’s off no matter what state it’s in.

Is there any way you could link an on/off state with the open/close state of the sensor in the device handler so that you could ask Google if a sensor was on (i.e. “open”) and have it respond whether the device is on (open) or not (closed)?

This could be helpful for people with disabilities who have a hard time checking doors, or lazy people who want to make sure their back patio door is closed when they go to bed.

There are already apps that does this. Ask Alexa can control and get status from any sensor in the house. Are you talking about native integration?


I did not know that - how about Google home? Not native, via smartthings.

I created an app called Google Home Helper…it requires another speaker (like Sonos) to get the reports as it utilizes the native integration, but it works well. The Alexa one outputs directly to the Alexa.


Appreciate the work you put into that! I do wonder if there’s a way to modify sensor device handlers to allow Google to recognize their status directly and report directly. (no connected speaker, everything run through Chromecasts for me)

For temperature sensors, for example, you simply add “capability
"thermostat”" to the handler and Google recognizes peripheral sensors and reports temperature.

Looks like @JDRoberts found a potential solution…

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