New SmartThings Alexa skill (2020)

So far so good… My morning routine fired off squarely on the second.

I’ve found that the timed routines or verbal-trigger routes work fine, but the routines that are driven by smartthings objects are severely delayed or don’t fire at all.

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Yep. This absolutely 100% true. Not a peep from SmartThings about it other than “we are working on it”.

This has also been my experience. I’ve tried all the things listed by several very helpful folks around here but none of them have decreased the delay I’ve experienced. For reference, I’m on NA04 US East.

Also relevant, I just ordered a Hubitat Elevation today :slightly_smiling_face:


Good call, I’m considering doing that myself. I’m in Canada, how can I check what node/hub/whatever-the-word-is I’m on? (ie- NA04 US East)

The word is “shard.“ :sunglasses:

FAQ: How to find out what "shard" (cloud slice IDE URL) your Account / Location is on?

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Beauty. I’m also on NA04 US East.

I have resorted to temporarily pausing my WebCoRE pistons, creating duplicates using Voice Monkeys instead of the virtual sensors - as suggested earlier in this thread.

My routines are now working again. Warm shower in the morning and my driveway sensor announcements are back.

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Hey, sorry for the slow reply. The log in IDE shows that the sensor does open and close. On Alexa, I can see the status change immediately and it’s the routine not firing off immediately. The routine seems to run on a delay or something. I set up the routine to make an announcement and nothing else so there are no other commands that could delay it.

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This is the problem that literally over 200 posts in this thread have been discussing. It is a known problem and smartthings engineering is working on it. There’s nothing you can do on your own to fix it. The problem is erratic: it is not affecting all people, it comes and goes for many people, and it has somewhat different symptoms at different times.

If you want to spend a lot of time trying different things, you can, and you may see some improvements: but you will likely see some improvements if you don’t do anything at all during the same timeframe, but then the improvements will Likely go away again. :disappointed_relieved:

Read through the thread above and you will see the posts from employees discussing it and the fact that it is being worked on and the fact that there is nothing that individual customers can do until it is finally fixed.

For those that can’t wait for the trigger issue to be resolved, Voice Monkey is a perfectly good alternative for the time being. And it’s free (for now).

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We’ll keep it free as long as we can, and if demand puts too much pressure on costs, we’ll let you know with plenty of warning if we introduce pricing structures.

How many Monkeys can I create?

As many as you like up to a maximum of 300.

I have a total of 10 Smartthings Virtual Switches that I use Alexa as a “man in the middle” to turn on/off Insteon Lighting Scenes. I’m happy to report that they are all working. However, they are not quite as fast to function as in the past but I have seen considerable improvement in the last 4 weeks. Lars and the team are working the issue and making improvements.

BTW…I migrated to the New Smartthings App about 5 weeks ago and did have quite a few problems. Most of my devices were doubled on the Alexa App. I have deleted the devices that were driven by the Classic App and also disabled all Smartthings devices that I do not plan to use Alexa with.

Still hoping for a faster response and hope Lars and the Smartthings Team will send out good news soon.

@Lars… any update?

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Same. Contact sensor virtual triggers not reliably triggering. Any feedback from Smartthings forthcoming?

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Thank you for your post! This fixed my issues! Only thing I would do is to clarify that under URL, it should be Value not Expression. I know you did that so everyone could see your text, but it did confuse me for a bit. Thanks again!

And thanks for those instructions. That’s all I used Echo Speaks for (customized voice alerts) and that will make it easy for me to switch to. It can’t announce to all Echo’s, but I didn’t use that.

It seems like it can announce to all echos through the specific Monkey’s settings. If not, clear the announcement out of the URL and use the Monkey as a trigger to a routine to announce to all echos.

Inside the Alexa app I don’t see how I can make Voice Monkey announce to all echos. It forces me to select a single one.

They hide announcements in the messaging menu for some reason.

You can do an announcement by just triggering a monkey by setting up a routine from the message menu.

Announcing a variable through Webcore to multiple Echoes is a little trickier, but you can setup a “monkey” for each echo, then do multiple post requests in a row to all of them. The msg is not in sync though.

Lots of possibilities with Voice Monkey. Hopefully they keep it free :slight_smile:

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They won’t. They won’t be able to because, just like Wyze and Arlo and other clouds that start out free eventually the server costs become too expensive for a company of that size. They already tell people that from the beginning: they will keep it free as long as they can. So the more popular it becomes, the sooner it stops being free.

They may keep a free tier for people with just a few “monkeys“ as a gateway to the subscription services, but my guess is there will be a fee in place by June 2021. That date is just a guess of course, but the overall trajectory seems clear.