SmartThings Community

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?



You should be able to use a WebCore “make a web request” task as an action directly:

URL (value):!&accessCode=ACCESS_CODE

Method (value): GET

Content Type (value): FORM

(Michael Deffendall) #7

Thanks! I will need to look into this one.

(Dave D) #8

Hi Ron,
I am looking to setup things similar to what you describe in your post. I am hoping to enable a switch in smartthings (virtual?) to send a custom phrase to an Android device with lannouncer. This device would be positioned such that it is in earshot of a dedicated Echo I have hardwired to a computer running Airfoil. The Alexa routine I currently have configured (works when I speak to the Echo) sets an airfoil speaker to a specific volume and launches a specific Pandora station. I was successful in setting up lannouncer and can play a siren sound on the device from smartthings. I’m stuck as to where to go from here in regards to sending a specific phrase to lannouncer via smartthings. Is there a specific smartapp I’m missing? Any help or direction would be appreciated!

(Ron Talley) #9

I use webCoRE for pretty much all of my rules…well any new rules.

Here’s an example of TTS using webCoRE.

(Dave D) #10

Thanks for sharing the example. I’ve heard of webCoRE but don’t know much about it. Time to learn!


Webcore has its own forum, there Will be lots of people there to help you. :sunglasses:

(Ron Talley) #12

(Dave D) #13

Ron…thanks for following up with this example! I am hoping to tie a virtual switch within Smartthings (and eventually Action Tiles) to an almost identical Piston. I successfully installed WebCoRE last night and will hopefully have time later this week to try things out. The possibilities seem endless with WebCoRE! Thanks again for taking the time to share this information.

(Dave D) #14

Are you using anything in addition to Lannouncer (ie Big Talker) to enable text to speech in your setup? I created an identical piston to the simple example you provided. The only change I had to make was to set ttsdevice 'Unknown Device 7" to the Lannouncer device in my setup. The piston appears to execute without any issues. However, no speech can be heard coming from my tablet running Lannouncer. I used CURL to send the same command on one of my computers and received the response “LANNOUNCER: OK” indicating, I believe, that my Lannouncer configuration is correct. One other thing I did notice is that under the settings for audio volumes in Lannouncer, the item “Volume Setting for Text To Speech” is greyed out. The documentation for Lannouncer is fairly detailed but I cannot seem to find any specific information about this particular setting. Have you or others ever come across this issue?

(Ron Talley) #15

Only using LANnouncer on Fire Tablets and a couple of other off branded tablets. The only thing I really change is the setting Enable GCM. (Don’t know if this matters but I remember having issues at first so I always click it)

Make sure that LANnouncer is running in the background.

(Ahmed) #16

Am I correct in understanding that to-date it’s still not possible to have a Alexa routine run by itself from ST? Alexa has routines that allows me to make custom TTS announcements, but unless I actually schedule it to run or speak to trigger it, then it just won’t play. So I have a wifi speaker which works with TTS and I am able to get webCoRE to speak custom TTS . So I’m thinking maybe if i put a echo dot and this speaker next to each other, housed in some enclosure to prevent sound escaping and then put it somewhere like the loft on low volume and then trigger alexa routines by the TTS wifi speaker speaking to the echo do, will that work? Only concern would be the potential of heat buildup if i place the devices inside a enclosure to sound-proof it.


Sorry, the first post in this thread was pretty confusing, but I have now edited it and it should make more sense.

The very good news is that as of August 2018, you can indeed have an Alexa routine run based on an event occurring in SmartThings. It’s just that the only events that it recognizes are motion sensors and contact sensors. But it will work with a virtual contact sensor. Please see the first post in this thread now that it has been edited and I think everything will be clear. :sunglasses:

(Ahmed) #18

Sorry am I missing something? When i load the Alexa app and go to Routines to create a new routine, under the when this happens am I supposed to be able to select a contact sensor? because all I can seem to select is Voice or Schedule


Please read the discussion thread linked to in the first post. There are some quirks in getting everything set up, and if you read through that thread it will explain The details. ( this is a clickable link)

(Ahmed) #20

So it seems maybe it isn’t available in the UK yet. That’s a real shame. This feature is soo overdue and now it’s here, how long do we in the UK have to wait? Why are Amazon so slow at rolling things out outside of USA?


That’s something you would have to ask Amazon, unfortunately SmartThings doesn’t have any influence on Amazon’s features roadmap.

(JIm) #22

We’re going to have to take care of a sick woman for a couple days. I wanted to set up an easy way for her to summon us from her bedroom. I had a spare button. My thought was to have it trigger Alexa in our bedroom. Simple right??? NOT.

Only way I could figure out how to do it was to create a simulated contact sensor. Then I had to write my own smartapp to open/close that sensor when the button was pushed, which then Alexa could read.

Anybody know of an easier way? I looked at smart lighting, routines, etc. What I did works fine, just kinda annoyed I couldn’t do it any other way. Apparently Alexa won’t recognize switches, just contacts.


The easiest way would be to get an Echo Dot and put that in her room and then they can act as an intercom system. That can save you some time also if it turns out that she needs you to bring her something.

Other than that, you are correct that you will need to use a virtual sensor if you want to trigger and echo routine. However, if you read the thread that is linked to in post 1 above, that has a DTH for a virtual sensor which is also a switch. That allows you to then use it with any of the standard features, including smart lighting. So you don’t need to write your own smartapp.

At the present time, Eco does not recognize switches for this purpose. You can send them feedback through the echo app that you would like to see switches as an option, they do add new features all the time. :sunglasses:

(JIm) #24

Thank you JD. Unfortunately we didn’t have more than a day of notice (Hospital seems to think she isn’t sick enuf to stay, even with a massive wound, etc. Go figure). which didn’t give us enuf time to get another echo. And I’m not sure she would be able to understand how to use it anyway.

Even tho I skimmed thru this post I didn’t catch that DTH. Thanks for pointing it out. I will get it and probably use it in the future, but for now got my smartapp working so I’m good.

(JIm) #25

Ok, I’m a little puzzled, which is normal.

I installed the DTH referenced above. Created a switch or sensor using that DTH. But I still can’t use it in Echo to trigger a routine. It doesn’t show up as a sensor. Which is the only thing Echo is allowing to trigger a routine.

EDIT: Never mind. I just realized my mistake. I copied one of the original DTH’s instead of the combined one. As I said I am usually puzzled…:slight_smile: