[RELEASE] Ask Alexa


Love the app and functionality. Thank you for your hard work on it. I wanted to see if there was way to do the following with ask alexa to automatically alert ST

  1. ring doorbell (pro) chime or motion sends notification to ST.
  2. Ask alexa receives notification/Alert
  3. Alert/notification get sent to specific Echo Dot.
  4. Ask alexa/ Echo dot provides voice message that someone is at the door.

Thanks for the kind word! It is truly a labor of love for the past couple years!

Regarding your question…Alexa CAN NOT wake up on its own and speak. This is a limitation of how Alexa was designed. There is going to be some sort of push notification (i.e. the ring at the top will turn yellow, but you will still need to ask the device to play your messages). This is the most common question and the unfortunately answer right now is: No…you can not do it EXACTLY like that…However, there are ways to accomplish this same goal.

For the Ring, you must integrate the device into SmartThings and it will be viewed as any other device. Then use a program like Big Talker or even WebCoRE to send the alerts/messages to the Ask Alexa Message queue, which will either play when asked on the Alexa or in real time through connected speakers.

Does that help at all?

ok, you were right, this was displayed when pressing test in AWS…running test from the Alexa skills kit developer site, produced the correct resulting action.

Good news! Thanks for confirming. Let me know if you need any assistance with any of the other things in this app. There is a lot it can do!

Well, that was a whole lot of work to be able to ask alexa about my garage door. Its up and running so now I’ll have to try some more things with it. Thanks for an awesome program.

One comment I got errors buitding the Alexa model on the developer site, I had to build out the custom slots first then drop in the intent schema and sample utterances in order to get it to work and I had to do that from a newly created skill. I’m not sure what went wrong with the first one but I thought you might want to know.

Thanks again for all of what you put into this.

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Here is another Friday update. Not much has been going on in the world of Amazon. Everyday I love my Show just a little bit more. I actually added pictures to the background to personalize it a bit more, so it is now part of the family. Still waiting on push, but this week I focused on the little things in Ask Alexa to make the experience better.

For those that are watching, the documentation has been slowly updating along with the app. Again, 30+ pages are not easy to get through, but with the number of people (even novices) that go through this with NO help from the forums and just using the documentation is fantastic, so I have to balance quality and quantity.

Eagle eyed viewers of the documentation will also notice I am adding a new device into Ask Alexa’s repertuar: The Foobot Air Quality monitor. This little device will check your air quality and using functions like WebCoRE, you can do fancy stuff like scheduled home ventilation and such. A big thanks to @Matthew_Freestone for letting me use his device API to design and test this. The integration was spotty with SmartThings, so I also modified the DTH to better work with Ask Alexa and with SmartThings in general. I also feel I need one of these devices now in my household. Matt outlined his experience here: Automating Home Air Quality

With this new addition, I renamed some of the main menu items in Ask Alexa to better categorize the devices that can be used. Switches/Dimmers/Colored lights are now “Lights/Switches). Thermostats/Temperature/Humidity are now simple “Environmentals”. Again, this will help the novice users get up and running without feeling they are day one of flight school :slight_smile:

The update should be out next Friday.



Thank you very much for Ask Alexa, it’s continual upgrades and feature integrations!

This is so amazing… I did an initial install about 4 months ago and got it working. So much has happened since then. I don’t even know where to start to update to the latest. Probably best just to start over. Any advice? I have my AWS accounts all set up and the groovy code is tied into the main GitHub. Hopefully that will help.

If it has been a couple months I would do the following to upgrade:

  • Update your IDE pieces…Be sure to get all of the new extensions (http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Ask_Alexa#Latest_Version)
  • Update your Lambda code. Be sure to capture your Token ID/App ID before you update
  • Then update your intents, slots and utterances…there is a new slot(LIST OF WCP) that will need to be created but you should just follow what is output when tapping on<Settings><Setup Variables>

As always, if you have issues, I am here to help…the only thing I would suggest is waiting until this Friday as I have an update coming out then.

Thanks Michael - I am off work this week and leaving Friday so I will have to upgrade now. I will do another update later. Your advice makes a lot of sense. I will let you know how it goes. One thing I am dealing with at the moment is Alexa confusion because I have both ST and Stringify and Ask Alexa installed. After I get this updated I will probably dump Stringify and convert all my Stringify flows over to CoRE piston scripts.

found typo in the setup instructions. about 70% down where it says:

Please Note
While the web address (URL) to the SmartThings environment should remain constant, it could be different that what is displayed…

the word “that” should be “than”

I know this is small, but every little bit helps.

another one…
"You will be presented with a page with a two selections:"
remove the letter “a”

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Good catch…will be doing some editing tonight and will fix those…

Edit: fixed!

Cool… I’m slogging through the update. Working on the Developer module in Amazon at the moment. You have done some wickedly cool work here my friend! I can’t wait to get this all updated and configured with phrases that match how we talk. I have been capturing the language we use that Alexa fumbles and plan to code this into Ask Alexa as macros and custom slots. This will be super cool!

If you need a good Tablet panel app, I’m your man. Check it out:

It is nowhere near as complicated as Ask Alexa but it is my own little labor of love here in ST.

Yeah…I have been watching this…nice project!

@MichaelS, this may be an unnecessary question, but I noticed that Ask Alexa integrates with WebCoRE. Is the same integration also possible using the original Core?

It used to be, but no longer. Adrian has deprecated the original CoRE so I moved to WebCoRE integration. I started using it and haven’t looked back. I REALLY recommend using it instead of the original CoRE.

Upgrade completed and working perfectly. You’re the man!

One question - do I have to go through the whole thing if I rename a sensor or switch? Or do I just update some subset of all of this? I’m assuming the latter - and the copy/paste list - or is that too simplified?

I named my front door lock - front door lock - so asking “our home to lock the front door” doesn’t work so I have to say instead “ask our home to lock the front door lock” which my wife will never do. So should I rename the front door lock to front door or is there a better answer?

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If you change a sensor name, you only need to update the slots…Once you get used to it, you will find that you may even simply be able to find the entry in the List Of Devices and simply edit it there. I wish there was an automated way to do this, and there is (by not using slots), but you lose accuracy and this is all about accuracy and not how easy the setup is :slight_smile:

You can also set up an alias for the device. In your case, you could keep the device named the same, but create an alias and then name it Front Door. As long as you don’t have another device named that (and you put the alias in the list of devices) that will work as well…

I am working on a method to allow a single device with multiple sensor be addressed with a function and Ask Alexa determines what to do with it. However, this again reduces the accuracy and the reaction, and something with locks and doors that becomes dangerous.

Hope that answers you question.

It does. thank you very much.

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