SmartThings Community

[RELEASE] Ask Alexa

(Micheal ) #41

Indeed…Appreciate the donation and support!

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #42

So, will this be in the first release?

(Glen King) #43

As I’ve said before, HA is really still in its infancy. It’s the work folks here are doing that is pointing the way forward.

I’m excited about this, and I don’t even have an Echo! While I don’t have much time to program anything, I am working on simple renditions of similar ideas in Tasker using Ok Google… and I hope you don’t mind my borrowing from what I’m seeing. :slight_smile:

(Micheal ) #44

No…just commands and such in the first release…2 dimensions coming soon (after Macros).

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(Micheal ) #45

Not at all…borrow away…that drives the market!

(Glen King) #46

In reading the wiki, ultimately there’s gotta be a way to say “alexa, please turn off the fans” rather than “alexa, please ask home to turn off the fans”. I know that’s a limitation in alexa, but it’s something I do in my system: “ok Google, unlock the door” or “ok Google, turn off the lights”.

All these systems need to find ways to personalize your assistant, to name it whatever you want locally. “Marmaduke, please turn off the lights.” :slight_smile:

(Micheal ) #47

Technically, you can right now do that…as long as the fan is an on off switch it will connect up through the home automation API…That way you don’t have to specify the ‘Skill’…this is a built in Skill, and you are limited by that. Developers don’t have access to modifying the built in skill, so you are limited to “asking”, which activates the skill and gives you the functionality of that skill.

Make sense?

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #48

What if our invocation word was please?

Alexa, please turn off the fan.

(I got a hair cut from Alexa) #49

Jason…now that’s genius. :wink:

( I hate Mondays) #50

How about “Alexa, da’ f… is my thermostat’s mode?!!” Wouldn’t that make a great invoke phrase?! He he he

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(Micheal ) #51

I am going to try this, but I am betting not only that “please” is reserved by Alexa, but I think you have to put something else around it…like Ask or Tell…didn’t get through this whole page, but the easiest thing is to test it:

(Micheal ) #52

I just deleted my whole response…the invocation “please” does not work…I didn’t try “ask please”, but I am betting that please is a reserved word…Good suggestion, however.



If we can get alexa to respond via a smartapp, what’s the likelihood of creating a smartapp that turn alexa into a voice notification? sonos replacement anyone?

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(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #54

Ok, my biggest problem with Alexa is when I’m dealing with the thermostats.

It never knows what the he’ll I’m talking about.

I have mine named upstairs thermostat and downstairs thermostat.

What are y’all using that works good?


I just say “Alexa, set living room thermostat to 68”

(Micheal ) #56

Correct…that is the SmartHome API which IS a Smarthing Skill…you just don’t have to initiate the skill name. The issue with that is that if it heard 56 when you want 66 it could turn on the AC. My app actually confirms WHAT it heard.

(Micheal ) #57

Unfortunately, it seems the Echo will ONLY respond to voice commands…it won’t initiate the conversation (outside of the alarm, which is just a delayed reaction. I be eventually they will release that, but there is no way that I know of to do it from a skill.

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #58

Yeah, so do I, if i’m using the direct integration.
But through the app, when I’m looking for feedback, it’s acts stupid.

(Micheal ) #59


I plan to release Ask Alexa THIS WEEK…not sure when, but it could be as early as tomorrow and as late as Sunday. For those of you interested in using this, please ensure you have read the document ( and opened an Amazon Developers account and an AWS/Lambda account.

I have scrapped the idea of a donation based subscription model as there is too much risk on the user side with tokens and securityIDs. If you absolutely can not create a Lamda account yourself, please let me know and we will figure something out. However, donations are always appreciated and I am already starting on a revision to Ask Alexa that will do Macros (similar to Alexa Helper where multiple functions and delay can be put in), device groups, and continue to have the voice reports the current version has. I anticipate this will come out within weeks of the final release of my 1.0.0 version. I am doing this to completely eliminate the need for Alexa Helper as too many people have issues with virtual switches.

To donate, simply go to . And watch this space for the release!!!

(Bobby) #60

Bring it on, man, stop teasing us lol…