[ST Edge] Device Name vs Label

I recently had a brief conversation with philh30 concerning the device name field. Historically, I’ve used the ST IDE to edit the name to reflect the physical device (e.g. ‘Jasco 14294’). The alternative would be to maintain a separate spreadsheet. The other issue is that 3rd-party integrations like Google Home inspect both the user-editable label and the normally-hidden name in an attempt to classify the device type. As an end-(power-)user, I find that very annoying. It looks like the current Edge model uses the deviceProfileName from fingerprints.yml for the device name? Are developers aware that Google Home goes poking around in their profile name looking for keywords like ‘dimmer’ or ‘light’? I’ve read elsewhere that there’s currently no (easy) way to change the Edge device name once created. I have 2 questions:

  1. Short of creating a unique profile for each fingerprint, is there any way to override the name before the device is created?

  2. Would it be possible to add a deviceName field in fingerprint.yml?

As a risky test, I was able to edit an Edge device name using the IDE. I had to swap drivers and/or reboot the hub to get the device working again. The fact that I got it working at all suggests that the name is not actually important to Edge drivers.

I used to do the same thing with the device name but I have always regarded it as less than satisfactory. I have always thought there should be a device comment field for use by end users for exactly this sort of thing.

With regard to the device type in Google, it needs to be made clear exactly how the integration is deriving it. Certainly keywords in the name and label can be significant, as can the device category and possibly the device type (I haven’t checked that), but what is the priority? It should also be noted that when you change the icon in the ST àpp you may be setting a new category of type ‘user’, which overrides the ‘manufacturer’ category.

You can, of course, change the name that Google uses, which may change the type, and you can also directly set the type.

I like your comment field idea, but whatever the field is called, why not prepopulate with the device specifics? It’s lame to populate the ‘friendly name’ with the hardware description. It might help with confirmation during pairing, but few people will leave it there. The information gets discarded and there’s no easy way to recover short of manually looking up the fingerprint using developer tools, or physically inspecting the device-- which may require removing it from service.

The following are based on my own observations:

  1. ‘Light’ in the ST name or label, or ST icon depicting a light, forces type Light in Google Home. It cannot be changed. This is bad if you want control over which devices are included in ‘turn light on’.

  2. ‘Dimmer’ in the ST name or label defaults to type Light in Google Home, but can be changed in Google (if you think to look).

So I see. I missed that. That is ridiculous. What on earth are Google thinking?

I assume Google feels they are doing naïve users a favor. I visit people’s homes and they use long names like Johnny’s Bedroom Ceiling Fan Light. If I were to walk in and carelessly say ‘light on’, the response from Google would be ‘OK, turning on 20 lights’.

In our home, there are 7 Google speakers. Each has 1 light and 1 fan associated-- called light and fan. Other lights have specific, but short names. I don’t have to think about what room I’m in. The commands are always the same. I’ve found other clever ways to tame Google. The game is to never allow ambiguity. There are 3 bathrooms and the only command I care about is ‘off’. Each of the 7 speakers gets its own virtual switch named BATHROOM. I can then map that virtual switch to the closest bathroom or just ignore. I almost never use voice commands to control devices I can’t see-- except maybe the thermostat. If I want to play power police, I use an app.

Yes, I try to avoid asking Google speakers for anything that goes outside their Room awareness, and also to avoid asking Google Assistant on mobile devices anything smart home related at all. Once they escape the Room they can create havoc as about all they have left to restrict them is Google account awareness.

Having 20 lights turn on inadvertently got very tiresome, so I created a Routine with triggers “light on, lights on, turn all the lights on” etc with no action accept for a witty response.

Yes, I have a routine for ‘house on/off’ that responds “that’s probably not what you want”. If nothing else, I want exhaust fans and safety lighting to run according to their own schedules. As noted above, all my lights in ST use the switch icon. If necessary, I only use Ljght or Djmmer in the ST name or label. The lights I want Google to use are explicitly named ‘light’.