SmartThings Community

[RELEASE] Ask Alexa

(Micheal ) #4308

It should be this:

In the AWS area and put it here in the developer area;

(Vinny B) #4309


Hi Michael,
Thank you for putting all of this together - I believe i’m at the home stretch here but have hit a bit of a snag.

I’m having trouble getting to the “setup variables” page.

I opened live logging in the IDE, and through the smart app I went to “Settings” but I don’t see a “setup ask alexa” button. Directly in the settings root, I see a section called “other values / variables” and there is a “setup variables” link.

When I click on that i’m brought to 1 single page that references lambda code and Amazon Ask custom slot information - but no buttons or json reference. Am in the correct area?

Thank you again!

(Micheal ) #4310

Are you using the latest version of the app (i.e. version 2.3.9)? If not, I recommend upgrading to that as the instructions will not match your screens if you don’t.

(Pizzinini) #4311

Feature request (once it’s available) to make a great app even more awesome! :slight_smile:

I use the “whisper” feature a lot… but I think this may actually take it to the next level.

I already use the other polly languages in TTS announcements but integration with Alexa would take it to the next level.

(Micheal ) #4312

This is already implemented in message queues, but YES…I have a feeling I could support this as well!

(Edward) #4313

Hi Michael thanks for your reply. It has been a few busy days at work so I didn’t manage to really try things out. I will get back to this ASAP so I can finally add a new dimension to my Alexa expedience and get back to you.

I will have to find out if the error message I’m receiving maybe has something to do with this warning you placed on the wiki: “For the developer account, please ensure you create the account under the same account you used for your Amazon Alexa Enabled Device setup.” Do you know the best way to check this out?

I indeed already had an AWS Lambda and developer account. But maybe this has nothing to do with this error I was just trying to analyze why I receive an error message when I paste the ARN.

Best regards,


(Micheal ) #4314

If you go to and your user name and login is the same as you should be good…

(Micheal ) #4315

Happy Friday…Once again, no important releases this week. but I did have some entertainment by reading this article:

While I don’t get creeped out by technology much (and I am not sure ‘creeped out’ is even the right feeling), the Google assistant making a phone call to arrange a haircut was downright….well, creepy…I KNEW it was a robot so I was listening for the tell-tale signs of inflection difference (which there were some), along with some slightly-longer-than-normal delays in responding, but if I hadn’t known this is a robot I would have been convinced it was a human. Again….this gives me an ‘odd’ feeling…maybe I just need to take a Tums :slight_smile:

For Alexa, Amazon took another bold step in the routines and now allows for custom responses to the commands.

While Ask Alexa can do these things, it is great Amazon is including them in the core application and functionality.

Speaking of Ask Alea, @pizzinini mentioned this:

I actually looked into this and the work that I have done already done with the whisper mode and such will play into this nicely. In fact, I already have the interfaces pieces done…Just need the voice names (I kinda know what they already are:)!4422!3!179121304963!p!!g!!amazon%20polly&ef_id=Wku2QQAAB2CE5oOZ:20180518143854:s ) and for them to activate in every user’s account (later this summer)? Now you can have a MALE voice for Ask Alexa overall, or by virtue of the restrictions that are already in place for when you decide to whisper or not :slight_smile:

Finally, I have been modifying Ask Alexa Rooms extension per my last message and can now get status of items within a room instead of a full-on status of the entire room.The entire room status is still available, but now ask about the status of the ‘fans’ in a room and it will give you just that. I will post a demo when I get an opportunity, but the goal is always to make the interface more intuitive.

Until next time….go see Deadpool 2 (if you are in to that).


Does the latest version of Ask Alexa app currently allow you to output an event status as a non-verbal Input to Alexa. Through some logic be able to trigger a custom audio command response from Alexa instead of the typical " Ok "? Triggered by motion sensors, or After speaking audio commands to smart home. More natural AI integration into the smart home.

Thinking Jarvisyyyyy. " Yes Master " or " Welcome home Johny, I hope you had a good day " or " Good Morning Johny, Here is your flash briefing and weather report "… ect…

Thank you for your time,

(Micheal ) #4317

You basically are asking about a ‘wake up and talk on its own to an event’ type of thing? Sort of…

I did add support for the skill “notifyme” that allows the Alexa to ‘ding’ when something happens, but you still have to ask ‘what did I miss’.

In addition, Ask Alexa has a notification queue which allows ST connected speakers (NOT the Alexa) to wake in real time to events, similarly to what you mentioned about a greeting when you arrive home, or an event in the house.

Amazon has promised this ability for a while, and there are some work arounds I am looking into, but nothing right now.


Thank you for getting back to me so soon! I appreciate your explanation. Yes I am looking for a wake up and talk on it’s own to an event type of thing. Event Driven Wake Input.

That is a bummer that Alexa does not have such capability or a work around. Seems to be a area that could use some improvement for a more natural integration.

I was hoping the new Blue print function would give us this capability, but it still requires a Audio wake word Input.

Have a good weekend,

(Micheal ) #4319

Trust me, this is the holy grail and it will come out at some point. I am still investigating different ways of doing this, and if they are reproducible you can be sure I will put it in Ask Alexa!

(Edward) #4320

Hi Michael,

It has been a few days, it has been some busy days at work. But I finally got a moment to try things out again.

I’m not really sure I have manage to make AskAlexa work.

But if by saying "Alexa ask smart things to turn xx-light ON I don’t hear the standard OK, but instead of that I hear “Turning xx-light on” and when I just say Alexa “Turn xx-light ON” again I get the OK.

I think it’s working. Thanks a lot for all your help and support.

Best regards


(Micheal ) #4321

I would recommend you watch your Live Logging to see if Ask Alexa log entries show up. If they do, then you are working. And the message SOUNDS like mine :smiley:

(Edward) #4322

HI Michael,

I see some activity. When I say “Alexa ask smart thing to turn kitchen counter ON” the lights turns on and I receive this kind a log:

23:11:38: info LWA Access and Refresh tokens updated and valid
xxxxxxxxx 23:11:38: debug requestToken
xxxxxxxxxxx 23:11:36: debug [Stringify] Generic Event data successfully posted
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 23:11:36: info postEventToEndpoint: event successfully posted.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 23:11:36: debug Property Change Event switch: off (source: DEVICE)

I’m not sure, I see some token info. so I changed this with some xxxx in case this can bring the security at risk.

(Edward) #4323

Sorry my mistake. I was on the live logging but not in the Ask Alexa tab:
The info is like this: 23:10:31: debug I am turning the kitchen counter on.

So I think I can yell “YES

Thank you very much again!!!

Best Regard


(Micheal ) #4324

Yeah…those log entries appear to be the native integration…NOT Ask Alexa. The best way to test the installation is simply saying “Alexa, Ask SmartThings About Version”…If it works Ask Alexa is installed fine.

(Edward) #4325

Hi Michael,

I’m at work right now but tried this suggestion on my phone through reverb and it indeed told my some information like the current version of the AskAlexa and the Lambda, including that you are the ‘father’ of Ask Alexa :grin:. Thanks again.

By the way I posted some questions about the installation of Echosistant. unfortunately I’m having some problem installing this App. But I noticed that there are some development in integrating AskAlexa and Echosistant. Do you advise go through the hassle of trying to find things out for the installation of Echsistant or just wait till AskAlexa and Echosistant are ONE?

Thanks again,


(Micheal ) #4326

There is no longer development of Echosistant, and almost all of the features of that app can be accomplished either via the native Amazon functionality now or Ask Alexa.

(Edward) #4327

OK. Thanks in that case I will cancel all this effort in trying to install Echosistant and focus on AskAlexa and other SmartApps.

Best regards,