EchoSistant and Ask Alexa

I’ve been coming up with lots of people talking about EchoSistant and Ask Alexa. I am new to ST and have a few Echo Dot’s in my house. I control my smarthings with echo dot. This might be a silly question, but can someone kindly explain in newbie language what exactly Echosistant is? Does it load onto an Echo Dot and what can it do?

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I could go into detail… but I will probably get some things wrong. I suggest you read through these wikis for all the most recent information. I use both apps for different purposes.

Thanks. So are they essentially skills that you load onto the echo dot?

Yes but it requires a little more. These are not “out of the box” skills. For both you have to:

  • install a smartapp into Smartthings.
  • create your own Echo skill(s) using a developer account
  • add the skill to your Echo account
  • do additional configuration specific to your smartthings devices

This sounds scary at first but it is pretty well documented in the wikis.

Sounds interesting. Do we have to call echosistant by saying Alexa ask echosistant or can it be Alexa then the command?

The VERY simple explanation is:

With Ask Alexa you can define your invocation e.g. “Echo, ask my home to turn on the lights in the kitchen…” (“my home” is the invocation)

For Echosistant you create on skill per invocation e.g. “Echo, turn of the lights in the kitchen…” (“kitchen” is the invocation).

It is a lot more complicated and what you do will depend on your use case… that’s why I use both apps.

A recent discussion by the developers of each app in this thread will tell you more:

And I am also available to answer specific questions about Ask Alexa (I am the author).

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Let me know if you have any questions about EchoSistant… I’ve got the inside scoop!


Same for EchoSistant. @bamarayne or myself are always available to help if you have any questions. A PM goes straight to our emails, so is the fast way to get a hold on to one of us.