Need help voice activating locks with Google Home

Could anyone help a total noob with any of this stuff? I am so frustrated and feeling like a total idiot. We have a bunch of GE/Jasco zwave plus switches, dimmers, fan switches etc that we run with ST and google home. It’s pretty basic we don’t have any scenes, routines or anything. We also have 2 Yale assure sl locks with zwave that you can control with ST app but not google home as it doesn’t support. As this house (my daughters) is being set up specifically To accommodate my daughter being a quadriplegic with no finger function it is very important that everything work with voice commands. I have been reading and trying to do some of these things that “work around” google home not seeing the locks but I am getting nowhere fast. I was using the ST app (like a snowflake) but put classic on and could use that instead? The ST hub is the latest one, have google home app and google assistant app on the phones. I tried to put the google home helper SmartApp on and the google virtual switch and momentary button but I think I did something wrong as it doesn’t show up when I go to my apps, I’m lost as to how to get to or work with home helper.
I would be willing to hire someone that can set up this stuff but am list as to how to even find someone in our area. Can you feel my frustration? LOLOL
Could anyone please give me some actual constructive advice besides…just instal a momentary button tile and have it do this…I would have already done that if I knew how.

I think you’d get some great advice from @JDRoberts!

I’ve done this, but a different use case and w/Alexa, with virtual switches and Routines. Sorry I don’t know how Google home would do it.

You can use the Virtual Device Creator (Add a Smartapp -> +More ) and create a virtual switch called front door lock. Present that switch to google home. Create a routine to unlock your real door lock when the switch is turned on. Then say “ok google, turn on the front door lock” and watch the magic happen.


I’m sorry, we don’t use Google home at our house and I don’t know how to do it that way. I also use echo.

But my understanding is that the new app (“smartthings ( Samsung connect)“) does not give you any way to automate the unlocking of locks except by time of day. You can’t even do it by geopresence. So there is no automation you can create that will unlock the lock if you are using the new app. It’s one of the main reasons I haven’t gone to the new app. I need hands-free control of my lock, that’s the main reason I got smartthings in the first place three years ago.

You can do it with the classic app, though.

Also, I’m not 100% sure on this, but I believe that you can use the new app and an echo device and at least unlock your lock by voice, although not with an automation. But you have to give it a pin code and it’s kind of annoying. However, like I said, I’m not 100% sure that that works with the new app, but I think it does.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe there’s a similar option available with Google devices. So either you use the classic app, or it just doesn’t work with that device.

I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. I wish I could give you a step-by-step, but since I don’t use Google home I just can’t. Hopefully somebody else who does will be able to write out each step for you using the classic app.

@jkp @rboy

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I have the classic app downloaded as well so I will see what happens. I’m pretty sure I can use it for creating some things that you can’t on the new app, it’s unfortunate that having the latest version of SmartThings forces you to use the new app while not allowing near the ability to function that the classic app appears to.

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Thanks for the reply, I have the classic app downloaded I will try it out and see if I can get anything to work on it. I had to use the new app in the initial set up of the smartthings hub but everything shows up on the classic app as well so maybe :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:. She has good biceps, shoulders, some last, a trace of tricep and good wrist action, no fingers, weak tenodesis. She can work her phone no problem but if she drops it she is SOL if alone. She is just over two years into this with 2 major surgeries (not counting the original injury) so it’s a struggle building her strength back up after each of them. She is amazing tho and works really hard even tho she is in 24/7 horrible nerve pain and her spasms are pretty bad esp right now as she recovers from having a bladder augment and diversion to cath from her bellybutton. I know you understand the challenges. I’ll keep you posted on any progress I make towards voice locks.

I understand: Siri and the Amazon echo really changed my life. :sunglasses:

See if this FAQ helps any (this is a clickable link)

It sounds like your daughter is an amazing person, and she is very lucky to have your support. My family has been great during all of this, more than they will ever know.

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Well I’m not sure how but I’ve got something working to lock & unlock the front door via voice with google assistant. It works using the mic in the app and I will test it when I stop by there tomorrow to see if the mini’s and HH will trip it as well. There was no momentary button I could use but I installed 2 virtual switches and set up an automation that whenever x switch is turned on unlock that lock and it works. And the second one locks it. It doesn’t appear to matter if it is already showing on, when I say hey google turn on open front door it unlocks it and when I say turn on close front door it locks it. Hopefully it will still work tomorrow in person. If it does I just have to do two more switches and automations for the back door. Then I need to figure out which harmony remote will work the best on their living room tv for voice. Sigh

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Thanks! I think I got it. Test some more tomorrow​:crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

If you want I have a button Device Type Handler in my project ADT Tools that works in both the classic and new app. If the difference between a switch and button becomes a problem it may be an option.

As @sidjohn1 said the virtual device and routine is probably the only way to make this work. Just make sure you have the switch trigger the routine and not some method of the other way around. Google home has a known issue where multiple users may not be able to call routines if the are a shared user with google home. Ie I can call all of them but my wife can’t.

Another note for security, you may want to look at cameras for each door. I know with a google hub you can also tell it to show the front door and it will show on the display, or a nvidia shield can display on a tv. Something to consider if home alone. I know arlo works well and is officially supported by Smartthings (this is what I use). Nest should work great with google devices as well, just isn’t as integrated with smartthings. I am not sure how well ring will play with the combination of Smartthings and Google Home

Thank you so much, I may take you up on that because the switch might end up being a problem as it’s acting a bit weird. I need to test it more when I’m over at the house. We have a nest hello at the front door and may look into a camera for the back. The next thing I need to do is get the tv on voice control which I think is going to call for a Logitech harmony device, if we have to buy that it will be the end of the budget for now. Won’t be able do more testing til tomorrow afternoon or Monday.

Thanks again


I think you can also use chromecasts on tv’s. I have tested that at my house with Arlo’ but I would expect that to work for Nest as well.

The Chromecast devices will work well with google voice devices. They just don’t work with as many other devices as a Harmony will. In particular, if you get the harmony home hub it can control many IR, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth, devices. Just as one example, you can control a Roku if you already have one with the harmony. But not with the Chromecast.

If you are starting from scratch and considering voice control of the TV, then my favorite combination is a fire tv stick (not The fire TV cube) plus an Echo Dot. This will give you amazing hands-free control of television viewed through Amazon prime. All for under $70.

If you want a handheld remote as well, you can get one, but otherwise you don’t need it. They have absolutely the best set of voice options of any of the systems under $500.

You can say things like

" Watch from beginning"

" next episode"

" find comedies"

" watch stranger things on Netflix" .( assuming you have a Netflix subscription)

Etc. I mean it’s a seriously great list if you can’t use your hands. :tada:

You can get add on subscriptions for monthly fees to most of the big streaming video services including HBO, stars, Acorn, PBS, etc.

I pay for two: HBO and PlayStation Vue. Vue is about $50 a month for up to 4 devices and we use that on 3 tvs instead of cable. In my city, I can get all the live sports and ESPN and all the big broadcast channels that way. I really like it.

And it’s all handsfree! Totally hands-free. Not like most “voice remotes” where you have to hold down the microphone button while you are speaking.

My Second favorite hands-free option: Logitech Harmony hub plus Echo Dot plus either fire TV stick or Roku plus cable tv box

One thing the first option can’t do is control a cable TV box. Or a Roku. Or a DVD player. Or PlayStation. the Logitech Harmony hub can control all of these. So if you already have the other services/equipment and like them and you just want to add hands-free control, then just adding an Echo Dot and a Logitech Harmony hub is a good idea.

It used to be that you would pay $99 for just the harmony hub, or $140 for the harmony hub plus a handheld button remote called the “Harmony companion”. And most people bought it with the button remote.

But now there are many people who are using The harmony hub with echo devices instead of haing a button remote , so they have dropped the price on that to between $60 and $80. And they dropped the price on the harmony hub plus a handheld remote to around $120, although sometimes you can find it for even a little less than that.

So it just depends on exactly what you want.

Here is the combo with the button remote so you can see what it looks like.

And here is just the harmony hub:

The Echo Dot is on sale right now for $30. It usually lists for $49.99, but it goes on sale a lot. :sunglasses:

3. My third favorite choice for just streaming control, no cable box control, if you don’t have Amazon prime is a Google home mini and Chromecast

This works fine, but it has fewer voice commands than fire TV (although both are always adding new ones all the time), you can’t get local news or PBS, and you can’t control any other kinds of devices. Just your streaming service on the TV. Basically if you can watch it on your android phone, you can probably watch it on your TV with Chromecast. But if you watch it on your TV by plugging other devices into the TV, the Chromecast probably can’t control those features while the harmony hub can.

Chromecast is cheap, usually $35, but then it doesn’t do that much.

Because the chromecast is so cheap, if you’re already watching streaming services on an android tablet or phone, and you already have a Google home device, then it probably makes sense to try it. But it’s not where I would start if, like me, you really can’t push any buttons.

Just my own experiences, for what it’s worth.

One more note: some televisions don’t turn on and off with just a network command. The Logitech Harmony will still work great with those. :sunglasses: So that’s another reason why you might need to pick the second choice instead of the first one or third one.

You can check the Logitech compatibility list to be sure:

And a good article on how Google home/assistant now (2019) works with Harmony, because a lot has changed in the last two months:

And here’s Logitech’s official support article: