How to enable "Play Message on Speaker" as an Action for a Routine


I have searched the forum and didn’t really find an easy solution.
Does anyone know how I can easily have Google Home or Alexa “speak” or make a sound via an Action?
If not Google/Alexa, is there an off the shelf Zwave speaker that will enable the “Play Message on Speaker” option of an Action?

I have tried creating a Google Home Routine and use a Starter which uses the Device of interest, but the issue with that is in the “Starter details”, I can only choose “Turn on or off”. Google doesnt display all of the devices capabilities as I get when using my SmartThings app.

I have attached an image for ref.

You can do this from the Alexa app. I am assuming that you have the Smartthings skill installed. Alexa will then be able to see your Smartthings devices. You can write a routine in the Alexa app to trigger her to speak.

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I’m surprised you didn’t find anything, it’s been a very popular use case and there quite a few threads about it. :thinking:

Anyway, there’s no way to control the smartspeakers directly from the smartthings app.

With an echo device, things are pretty straightforward. The Alexa app has Alexa routines, and one of their options is to have any of your selected echo devices make an announcement. In order to trigger that, you can use a virtual device from smartthings. Exactly which virtual device depends on whether you have a SmartThings/aeotec hub or not, but there are several choices. So you create a smartthings routine to activate that virtual device, and that virtual device being activated triggers the Alexa routine.

Or if you just want an announcement when a particular sensor is triggered, you won’t need a virtual device. But it’s the same idea, the smartthings device is the “if” in an Alexa routine created in the alexa app.

Here’s the faq for that (works for both physical Sensors and Virtual devices.)

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

The method for Google devices is somewhat different, and involves using Chromecast, but I’m not familiar with the details on that one. There are some forum threads about it, though.

So the process probably works different than you were imagining, since you can’t just select the smart speaker as a device in a smartthings routine, but you can get to the same end result. :sunglasses:

In Google you can make a routine in the Google Home app under the Household routines. If you want to play a message over a speaker within SmartThings as part of your routine you can add a Sonos speaker (the Ikea ones work too).

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@JDRoberts/all thanks for the info. I got a Google Home Routine working with a Virtual Switch.

For some reason the Virtual Switch does not end up in my Alexa’s → Routines → When this happens → Smart Home section in order for me to pick the device as the starter of the Routine. However, Alexa sees the Virtual Switch in the Device list and I am able to toggle the switch on and off. Any idea why this is happening?

As explained in the FAQ I linked to, at the present time, Alexa routines can only be triggered by Sensors, locks, lights, some specific types of switches connected to a hue bridge, and a few specific brands of buttons like Flic buttons. They cannot be triggered by a regular switch, whether it is virtual or physical.

To get around this (and again, the FAQ goes into this in detail), most people use a virtual device which is both a switch and a sensor, so that turning on the switch will cause the sensor to look like it opened. This allows you to use the switch part in a SmartThings routine while using the sensor part in an Alexa routine.

Several community members have provided virtual devices of this type, including edge Drivers, so it’s pretty easy to set up if you just follow the instructions in the FAQ.

(I know you’re relatively new to the forum, but this is about the third time this has happened, so you can just feel confident that if I give you a link, it’s quite likely going to answer the question that you will probably ask next. It’s just the way my brain works. :wink:

Some of our community members do have TBI or other cognitive challenges which make it difficult for them to follow links. If you fall into that group just let us know, and we’ll try to present the information in a different way That will be more helpful to you.)

I followed your link, and I see you referencing “virtual device” one time on that thread and I am not seeing virtual device in SmartThings → Menu → Labs. I see “virtual switch”. Do I need to install an special driver or something?

The virtual switch in the smartthings app will not work to trigger an Alexa routine. It Has to be a virtual device which is also a Sensor, and that one is not.

In the FAQ at the link that I previously gave you, the third bolded section is

See the following How To article in the community-created wiki for details, including an Edge Driver if you want to use the combined sensor/switch method.

Then it gives a link to an article in the community-created wiki, which has the detailed information about the combination virtual devices.

It’s actually physically very tiring for me to post, which is why I so often use links instead, so I am going to sign off for today and hopefully other people will be able to help you if you are still confused. :sleeping:

Here is a link to one of the virtual deviced jd was referring to. There has been an issue with Alexa triggering routines based off the combi ed contact/switch devices and has 2 options which work really well.

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Thanks @JDRoberts and @Terri_Baker.

Cliff notes version:

For Google Home Routines: Add a Virtual Switch via SmartThings App → Menu → Labs.

For Alexa Routines: Add a Virtual Device via Virtual Devices V2 → vEdge Creator V2.9 (Follow Instructions Steps 1-3 posted here)

Both are super easy to install and configure.
I got both Google and Alexa “speaking” and “doing things” triggered by my Automation Routines in my SmartThings app.

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For Alexa, as of this writing there are four options for triggering an Alexa routine , depending on the exact details of the use case:

  1. if your trigger is a physical contact sensor, motion sensor, or lock, you can just use that as the trigger in the Alexa routine, you don’t need a virtual device. For example, if you want a spoken message when a specific door opens, you can just put a sensor on that door and use an Alexa routine to have an echo device play the notification.

  2. if your trigger is any other smartthings event, then you will need a proxy device as the trigger for an Alexa routine. If you have a smartthings/aeotec hub, then you can use the virtual device creator edge driver that you mentioned.

  3. if your trigger is any other smartthings event but you don’t have a smartthings/aeotec hub (the vast majority of smartthings users do not have a hub), then you can use a virtual lock created through API browser plus.

SmartThings API Browser+ ... Now Available to All

  1. if you don’t want to use a virtual device or custom code for whatever reason, you can use a hue smart plug connected to a hue bridge as a proxy, because this can be seen and actuated by smartthings and can also be used as a trigger in an Alexa routine. No custom code required. No SmartThings/Aeotec hub required.

Again, all four of these options were discussed in detail in the links that I already posted, so I’m not really sure why we’re going through them again, but I did want to make sure that anyone who happens on this thread in the future but has a different setup or different preferences than the OP could still figure out how to get a notification. :sunglasses:

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I know this is a bit old, but why is so hard to find an ST compatible smart speaker? I realize there are plenty of workarounds to use alexa, but shouldn’t there be a current list of speakers that natively integrate with ST in order to use the “play with speaker” the OP was asking about?

I can’t seem to find anything conclusive.

In the mobile app. Menu > supported devices > speaker

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