Harmony's new Alexa skill - does it translate to SmartThings?

Harmony has recently released a new skill for Alexa that allows you to change activity settings when you’re already in an activity (E.g. “Alexa, tell Harmony to pause”).

Is this available to SmartThings to be invoked in SmartApps? I would love to have my SmartApp pause Harmony without having to set up the clunky multiple activities that some folks use…

When I say, “Alexa, tell Harmony to Pause the Bedroom TV”, it works!

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Yup, the Alexa skill works fine for me too.

But I would love to expand my doorbell blinker smart app to also pause my blue ray movie when the doorbell rings. Currently, Harmony / SmartThings integration only support interaction at the activity level. I am hoping that this skill will allow SMartThings smart apps to have the same, more granular control over Harmony activities.

As an aside, “Alexa, tell Harmony to mute” hasn’t worked for me yet…

I find it Alexa misinterprets “to mute” to be some other word and then harmony gets confused. Try just “Alexa, tell Harmony mute” and it should work. Think of each of the red skill commands as a button press, so to unmute repeat the same command “Alexa, tell Harmony mute” a second time.

As far as I can tell, the red skill capabilities are only available through the official echo/harmony integration, they have not been exposed to SmartThings. But we can hope for the future. :sunglasses:

https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-experience-with-amazon-alexa

Hey! This is off topic sort of, but I am curious. It’s not at all possible to say something like, “Alexa, Pause TV”? I feel like there are too many words to invoke some command. I don’t have Alexa in my house, but I’ve been thinking about it.

Not right now and it gets somewhat complicated when one has more than one device of a system that could be “Paused|Muted|Change Volume or Channel”, like my numerous Sonos and TV’s, and Amazon Echo|Dots, etc"! I agree with you, you have to be exact when command Echo to control some devices, and usually I have to think carefully before commanding some of the extended devices.

IMHO the Amazon Echo staff is currently dedicating their platform to just controlling SmartThings basic switches/outlets or Thermostats, etc. The Echo functionality that allows more robust control over home automated devices typically requires a Amazon Skill Name to be installed on one’s Amazon Alexa account. Then one can say, for example, “Alexa, tell {Skill Name} to {perform some authorized action}” as in “Alexa, Tell Harmony to Mute|Pause|Turn to CNN|Volume UP|DOWN, etc the Bedroom TV”. I am able to say, “Alexa, turn on the Bedroom TV”, but to do something with the TV requires the Skill Name to precede the command.

Some people, including myself, have enhanced the Echo to control other non switch/outlet type home devices by creating a virtual switch in SmartThings and having, for example, a CoRE Piston activate various automated commands when the virtual switch is On\Off. For example, I can say, Alexa, Turn on the Theater TV, and it activates a virtual switch that CoRE watches and send commands to my Harmony, lights, motion sensors, routines and other Z-Wave devices.

Isn’t there a limit to how many devices you can have on smartThings? Are you concerned you may reach that limit?

I have no problem pausing my Samsung smart TV by saying “alexa pause” there are two harmony skills that need to be enabled but I assure you mine works just fine. I don’t even think smartthings is involved on this integration and technique. Alexa pause alexa play alexa fast forward and such and such all work on my comcast cable dvr and Netflix have not tried a blue ray or xbox yet

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When I try “Alexa Pause”, my Echo just whirls and turns off (and YES I have both Harmony Skills enabled). When I say “Alexa, pause bedroom TV”, she responds by turning off my TV. Here is the official commands with both Harmony skills.

I am not aware of a Echo limit other than to the extent that SmartThings has enforced for the maximum number of connect Z-Wave or Zigbee device to the hub.

I suppose you could have a ST connected speaker sitting near your Echo device and add a text to speech action in your CoRE Piston that says “Alexa tell harmony to pause” :sunglasses:

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Strange. I will play around tonight but I just went through all my apps and if I recall I was only able to do this AFTER I enabled the tell harmony skill and from there on it just worked. I was demonstrating this exact feature to my neighbor last night. I did not other integrations or set ups other than discovery and enable. Good luck to ya if I find out how mine is doing this so simple I will let you know. It can be done though.

@Cody_Farmer You must have a “Pause Activity” defined on your Harmony or something special in your Alexa or Harmony setup since the Harmony Red Skill (See Image Table Above) appears to be the only way to “Pause” an activated Harmony activity and that is ONLY if you with the initiate the command sequence, “Alexa, Tell Harmony to Pause”.

I would love to eliminate the "Harmony " in the Alexa dialogue. I feel like an unpaid actor :angry: endorsing Harmony every time I command the TV to do something more than turn On\Off.

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play/pause/ff/rew/stop etc are supposed to be reserved for the native music playing, so that’s not surprising it does nothing

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I use my harmony activities to turn on TV turn on Netflix with red lights at 20% and all other kitchen lights turn off. I then switched the names in ST to the TV and Netflix by just removing the harmony part. But I wish I had an answer for the pause and play because I have no such activity set up in harmony what’s soever. And I know for fact it happened right after I enabled red harmony because I tried it right after. I’ll have to see what it might be. I just went through all my apps and there’s nothing more then alexa and harmony on this one. I only have 3 activities with full start and end sequence. My entertainment integration seems to be going plug and play. Ge zwave on my 3 way was another story lol