Setting up Alexa to recognize rooms


(Joel W) #1

I am trying to setup Alexa to recognize each Echo in the room it is in. I tried by saying “Alexa turn on the lights in this room” it should ask what room, but it doesn’t it says there are many devices which one do you want? And in my office if I say that it turns on the Garage lights which are not in the office. It does the same thing for the Master bedroom, where the garage light are not. I don’t have any idea how to troubleshoot this one.


(Micheal ) #2

Hehe…Joel…are you reading my mind? Did you look at my last Friday update? I finally figured out how to do the very thing you are looking for ([RELEASE] Ask Alexa).

While you will still need an invocation name for now, I also figured out a method to basically have the system react with simply “In here” or “this room”…so the syntax will be “Alexa, turn on this room” or “Alexa, turn on the lights in here” and it will react different in each room.

So some fun stuff is coming this month…And ironically I am sitting on the couch testing this right now…are you watching the cameras in my house?!? :slight_smile:


[RELEASE] Ask Alexa
(Joel W) #3

No I am under the couch? I can’t wait for this one. As usual if you need a tester let me know.


(Micheal ) #4

How many devices do you have? I will send you a note when I am ready, but the coding for this is actually going pretty fast…I expect in the next couple weeks to reach out.

And I looked…nothing under my couch :smiley:


#5

Sorry, I’m confused. Are you trying to use the native echo ability to assign an echo to a room so that you can say “echo, turn on the lights” and it will turn on only the lights associated to that room? This was a new feature added a couple of months ago. It works very well. It requires only that you set up a group which will include one echo device and whatever lights you want assigned to it. Amazon calls this a “smart home group.”

Note that you will never have to say the smart home group name, so you can call it whatever you want. At our house we call them control groups to distinguish them from the group names that we will say. So “kitchen control group” has one echo Dot and several lights.

Or are you talking about something else?


(Micheal ) #6

Joel,

Here is a restriction based on the device:

Also notice the remove button now is context aware…I have been able to do a lot with football no longer being on TV :smiley:


(Ron Talley) #7

I have a virtual switch for each room in my house that is the name of that room.

Dining Room, Den Room, Day Room, etc…

I use webCoRE to create a Piston that say:

Define
(devices in room)
(name of room)

If any (devices in that room) Changes
Then
–If any (devices in that room) is on
Then
Using (name of room)
Turn On

–If all of (devices in that room) are off
Then
Using (name of room)
Wait 2 seconds
Turn Off

If (name of room) Changes to Off
Then
Using (devices in room)
Turn Off

I can then say:
Alexa, turn Off (name of room) and everything in that room turns off.

Works great for me!


(Joel W) #8

I have five Alexa enabled devices.

I was looking into any method of making things easier.


(Derek Murphy) #9

I would suggest the native echo function. It’s exactly what you are looking for. Ask Alexa is great but I’m assuming there might be some limitations and you might not get the desired action 100% of the time.

Every echo device I have is attached to a group and I can give it any action (turn on/off, change color, dim) by just saying “the lights”. It’s probably the No. 1 feature that I use.


(Lee Florack) #10

Your choice, of course. However, the absolute simplest way to get to where you want (as @JDRoberts has pointed out) is already natively built into your echoes. Nothing to install. You simply go into the Alexa app on your phone and add a ‘Smart Home Group’ by selecting the devices you want to control along with the echo that’s in that room and saving it. Done! Then when you want to use it, just say, ‘turn on the lights’ (or off) while in that room and they just work etc.

Again, your choice - and nothing against Ask Alexa, but if you want simple, this is the right route.


(Micheal ) #11

While most people would think I would argue this point, they area all spot on! If the native options work you should use them! Ask Alexa isn’t about simply duplicating functionality of the native integration, but to enhance it. So while Ask Alexa will do this same action (react to room only) I am also enhancing this feature with making some actions available in only certain rooms, and based not only by speaker, but by time, date, who is present at home, etc.

If Alexa could do everything Ask Alexa can do, I would be wasting my time coding…however, until that time comes you may see features that appear similar, but go beyond what Amazon has put in!

I love the creativity of this community!


(Richard G) #12

Question -

In your Ask Alexa scenario - could I invoke using the same phrase but based on which echo hears the phrase would turn on/off the lights in only that room?


(Micheal ) #13

Not currently with Ask Alexa, but probably by the end of the month. I recently found out how to identify which speaker is being spoken to and am coding its inclusion in my app.

Keep checking back as this is something many people have been waiting for.


(Ron Talley) #14

This is native. In the Alexa App, create an Alexa enabled group (includes the echo device) and add the light(s) for that room into that group.

You then can just say, “Alexa turn on/off the lights”. This only works correctly with lights for now.