[OBSOLETE] BigTalker 2.x

Announcing BigTalker 2.0 release

Important Notice 1.x users: BigTalker 2.x is not a direct upgrade from 1.x. Configured events from 1.x will not transfer over due to the move from a single app model to a parent/child model.

Have you ever wanted a talking house? Now you can! With the Big Talker SmartApp (2.x branch)

When SmartThings is paired with a compatible audio device (such as a Sonos, Ubi, LANnouncer, VLCThing, AskAlexa, etc) and Big Talker SmartApp, your house can say what you want it to say when events occur.

Supported events at 2.0.0 release (see documentation link for latest):
Time: Time of Day + Day(s) of Week
Motion: Active/Inactive
Switch: On/Off
Presence: Arrive/Depart
Lock: Lock/Unlock
Contact: Open/Close
Mode: Change (Home, Away, etc)
Thermostat: Cooling/Heating/Fan/Idle(not running)
Acceleration: Active/Inactive
Water: Wet/Dry
Smoke: Detect/Clear/Test
Button: Press or Held
Smart Home Monitor Status (SHM): Armed-Away, Armed-Home, Disarmed

BigTalker 2.x brings in the concept of groups of events. These can be whatever you make of them. I envision they will be scenario’s or rooms. ie: all talking events for a given room.
Each group can be disabled in mass for whatever your needs are.

Phrase Tokens/Variables
Voice phrases support the following variables (will be replaced with actual phrase when triggered)

%askalexa% = Send phrase to [AskAlexa message queue]. (Alexa, Tell SmartThings to play messages)
%date% = Current date; January 01
%day% = Current day; Monday
%devicename% = Triggering devices display name
%devicetype% = Triggering device type; motion, switch, etc…
%devicechange% = State change that occurred; on/off, active/inactive, etc…
%description% = The description of the event that is to be displayed to the user in the mobile application
%groupname% = Play Device group name (ie: group/room name that you have setup for this set of events)
%locationname% = Hub Location name; home, work, etc…
%lastmode% = Last home mode; home, away, etc…
%mode% = Current home mode; home, away, etc…
%mp3(url)% = Play hosted MP3 audio file from url. Example: %mp3(http://www.somesite.com/audio.mp3)%
* musicPlayer devices only (Sonos, etc). Does not support speechSynthesis devices such as LANnouncer.
* Cannot be mixed with any other text in the event’s phrase
%time% = Current time; HH:mm am/pm
%shmstatus% = SmartHome Monitor Status (Disarmed, Armed Stay, Armed Away)
%weathercurrent% = Current weather (from Weather Underground; based on SmartThings Hub Zipcode)
%weathertoday% = Today’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; based on SmartThings Hub Zipcode)
%weathertonight% = Tonight’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; based on SmartThings Hub Zipcode)
%weathertomorrow% = Tomorrow’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; based on SmartThings Hub Zipcode)
%weathercurrent(00000)% = Current weather (from Weather Underground; using custom Zipcode; replace 00000)
%weathertoday(00000)% = Today’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; using custom Zipcode; replace 00000)
%weathertonight(00000)% = Tonight’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; using custom Zipcode; replace 00000)
%weathertomorrow(00000)% = Tomorrow’s weather forecast (from Weather Underground; using custom Zipcode; replace 00000)

Note: (00000) can also be replaced by any supported location of the WeatherUnderground API such as (France/Paris), (latitude,longitude), (AirportCode), (State/City)

For example when turning off a switch named “Office Light” with a spoken phrase of “%devicename% %devicetype% has been turned %devicechange%” would speak “Office light switch has been turned off”.

Another example would be to create a simulated switch that is turned ON in the morning by your Good Morning routine, and then OFF at night with your Good Night routine. Then set up a Big Talker switch event group tied to that switch’s ON event that speaks “Good Morning. %weathercurrent% %weathertoday%

Keep in mind, if you configure highly active or too many devices, it may get annoying or cut a previous message off!! We had a family gathering and the kids kept going in/out the back door to play in the yard. “Back Door has been opened, Back Door has been closed, Back Door has been opened, you get the idea.” I wouldn’t configure chatty motion sensors either, but that’s up to you.

Have Fun!


Please report bugs at https://github.com/rayzurbock/BigTalker2/issues

Remember, please check the documentation (and help build it out if you are inclined to) at http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=BigTalker

GitHub Integration Settings:
(master = tested release, development = in development release, may have major/minor bugs)


This is for BigTalker 1.1.12, but shows how it operates (just keep in mind it’s further enhanced in 2.x)

Support the project (optional)
This SmartApp is free. Donations to support development efforts are accepted via (non-refundable, no guarantee of service/support/features):


2.0! Will config asap! Thank you @rayzurbock

Also, 1st!

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@rayzurbock any chance of this doing say a reminder everyday same time? Example would like a reminder said 10am everyday to take medicine, etc?

Congratulations @rayzurbock for your release!!!

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Yes, you can do this in BigTalker. Create a group (if you haven’t already) and then configure a Time based event. Select the days and the time for the announcement.

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Is it just me or is “talk now” janky in both versions? The automations work perfectly though.

I’ve just tested several random phrases in TalkNow. They all worked fine.
“Today is %day% %date%”
“Hello World”

TalkNow only attempts to speak if you change either the spoken phrase or the speech device(s).

Thanks for the reply! I’m probably just doing it wrong :slightly_smiling_face:. It works but sometimes doesn’t randomly. It’s probably my speaker companion app or cast smart app that’s causing the problems.

I’ve just pushed 2.0.1 for both the child and parent apps:

  • Added 2 additional time schedules (up to 3 times can be set per group)
  • Corrected an issue when speaking in the 12:00am hour.
  • Corrected an issue where personality was used when not desired when using a time schedule.
  • Versions: Parent = 2.0.1, Child = 2.0.1

So on the last app, there was a threshold that existed where it wouldn’t repeat itself within x amount of minutes I believe. Can that happen with latest?

This is what I do currently:
Between 7:30a - 9:15a, Mon-Fri, if motion upstairs (motion sensor on my upstairs), talk weather to my living room sonos. My wife had to go up and down twice this morning because she forgot something upstairs and it went off 3x instead of once like the last app.

Anyways - I’m glad you made Big Talker 2 - it’s super convenient for us.

I didn’t have a “once per day” or x times per day option in the 1.x version (maybe it was another app?) , but now that 2.x is out this is something in my plans for it.


Hm, that could be. I don’t remember exactly what was setup but it cut down on the annoying repeat.

Glad to hear it’s in the cards. Such an amazing add-on for ST.

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Hi, I am having a problem with my switches. When operating the switch the BigTalker 2 says “turned on” then repeats itself every 5 minutes. It does this in both the on and off position. Although it only happens with my TP-Link switches.
My Energenie switches only speak once for each operation.

@rayzurbock Thanks out of town till Friday. Will try that.

I’m seeing an odd issue with the time based events right now. They worked well last night after I added the additional 2 time slots; however I’m seeing them repeat today or throw errors that the phrase was empty (When it was not).

I’ve added some additional debug logging in my install and am only seeing the child app make the call to speak one time at the desired time, but the parent app is processing the Talk() function twice for no apparent reason. I’ve scoured over the code all evening so far and cannot find any reason for the time based event to repeat. I’m going to give it a day or two to see if it’s some backend SmartThings platform issue before I try to come up with a workaround patch. I have checked some other events (door locks, etc) and they did not repeat twice when called, so it seems to just be the time based events.

Brian, if you remember I was reporting double talk in the last version. Only happened for me with lights.

I’m only seeing the double talk in time based events, so far…

Mine says Family room lights are now on then it repeats with ashort delay. Sometimes the beginning of the first statement is cut short at the beginning and then the next statement is complete.

@rayzurbock Brian just got a alert that says “BigTalker- check configuration. phrase is empty for BigTalker on schedule.” What does this mean. I had something setup to speak and it didn’t. I changed the schedule to try again.

@joelw135 @rayzurbock I getting the same thing as your are getting. I don’t what up with the empty phrase as I thought it was something that I had done wrong?