I’ve written an app that will allow you to control a Harmony Hub via the Amazon Echo. Yes, you can currently do this by setting up different activities in the harmony hub to control channels and such. That all works OK, but I found it a little difficult to setup activities to control the volume and more importantly I really wanted to learn a little more about writing LAN connected smart apps and device types. So, I set out to build a few new device types that allow you to toggle the mute button on/off, change the channel, pause the DVR and of course to automatically “surf” channels for you. Here is a screen shot of the various devices in the mobile app.
I used simple device types (switches) in this app so that it would be easily integrated with the Amazon Echo. This lets you say things like “Alexa, turn off sound” or “Alexa, Turn on ShowTime” or “Alexa turn on Channel Surfing” and it will send the appropriate commands to the harmony hub. When I am away from the remote, my favorite and most used voice command is to tell Alexa to turn off the sound. My wife is even starting to appreciate that command so the overall acceptance factor has definitely been raised in my house.
I’ve been using this app for the last couple of weeks and it works great for me so I thought I would put it out here and invite others to try it out. I am very interested to know if it works well for you, what other commands you think would be useful, any issues you have getting it running, etc.
You can download the code and associated apps from my github: https://github.com/joejarvis64/j64.Harmony. There are some pre-reqs for this app and it does require that you run a gateway app on a local machine so it can talk to the Harmony hub. I created a GettingStarted document that provides instruction on how to install and get everything running.
Once you have installed the app you will be able to define channels and names that the Amazon Echo will recognize using a web app i’ve created. The nice thing about this app is that it has the smarts to synchronize with the smart things hub and properly create devices that the Echo will recognize.
Let me know if you decide to give it a spin!