Talking to amazon now. They are not aware of any issues with routines…
Said they will send feedback to their internal team who will respond back within no specific timeframe.
Based on my conversation I’m not confident the agent has even a basic understanding of how the routines should be functioning. They keep asking to reinstall the app, as though routines are not executed in the cloud and somehow that will help. Or reboot my echo’s which also are not in anyway connected to these routines. This is clearly a back end issue.
Thanks for the ticket info, having same issue. Virtual Alexa switches worked perfectly until a few days ago. The switches themselves still update correctly, but Alexa will no longer trigger routines based off of them, or will only do the open or only closed portion. Only works about 20% of the time and seems to be getting worse by the day.
I’ve tried deleting and rebuilding switches, routines, deleting and reinstalling app, unlinking and re linking ST, so far nothing has worked. Will reach out to Amazon and hopefully something will be done.
I hope so. In the mean time my smarthome is literally crippled. I have been using virtual contact sensors to keep a bunch of stateless devices in sync. Things are now falling out of sync or not triggering, causing other downstream routines or automations to not work as intended. Sigh
I’ve added a doorbell option to the momentary combo device as I described earlier. Seems to work fine, but Alexa sees it just as a switch and not specifically as a doorbell. This would make it awkward to use via voice commands since you would have to trigger the virtual doorbell device by saying, “Alexa turn on front doorbell”, for example. But if all you need is the ability to create an Alexa routine to initiate it automatically based on another trigger, then it should be fine. You could even test for SmartThings-initiated actions via the contact.
I am removing the button from the device card when doorbell is selected, since I didn’t think it would be wanted, but I kept all the fields on the details screen (switch, button, and contact) so you’d still have the option of initiating things from within SmartThings.
I haven’t pushed out a driver quite yet, until I hear any concerns from you on the above.
If you try to create an Alexa routine with it as a doorbell device, does it give you a “When Door bell event occurs” → “When XXXXX is pressed”? If so, that would be similar to the contact/presence sensor where the virtual device appears as a switch device type but in routines gives you a “When Contact Sensor is Open/Close” option.
What people have generally done in the past is to create a second virtual device which is just a switch, and then set up a smartthings routine (not an Alexa routine) so that turning on the switch triggers the doorbell device. That way you can have a voice assistant turn on the switch switch, but the Alexa routine is triggered by the doorbell.
It’s the same method that we recommend that people who don’t have a hub do if they are using a virtual lock created in your API browser plus as their virtual device, since a virtual lock can also trigger a smartthings routine but the verbal command is not natural.
One thought I had was that since the device changes profile to the doorbell after it is initially created, maybe Alexa isn’t picking up the change. I’m going to try created it from the start with the doorbell profile and see if that makes a difference.
EDIT: it doesn’t; Ring’s integration with Alexa is direct - not through SmartThings, so it has abilities that Edge devices don’t - namely supporting 3 different functions within the doorbell device: motion, video, and pushbutton. Unfortunately I’m not having any luck trying to replicate that.
Back in Groovy days, the original “Alexa switch” from @bjpierron would actually show up as two different devices in Alexa: a Contact Sensor, and a switch. Both would be listed in the Alexa app device list.
I am told, though, that the new edge driver devices, at least now, only show up in the Alexa device list as the switch, but can still be used as a trigger contact sensor in an Alexa routine. Which seems odd to me, but that’s what I’m told.
It sounds like our friends on hubitat are facing a very similar issue. Perhaps coincidental or perhaps not. Their workaround seems to be to create a virtual contact sensor that is not also a switch. Is this possible for smartthings?
@TAustin Thanks so much for your efforts on this! I am trying to understand all the conversation around the doorbell and while not following it all, I think I explain the need. This started as an attempt to circumvent the current issue that Alexa is intermittently having recognizing that some contacts are open or closed. The conversation went to Voice Monkey and it’s ability to simulate a button press, which was apparently still reliably working in Alexa, and whether similar functionality could be created in vEdge Creator. While not previously familiar with Voice Monkey, I did sign up today and created some buttons, had IFTTT monitor a Smartthings contact sensor that was problematic in Alexa, and set the button in VM. It appears to work reliably, though a bit of a PITA and kluge. So, not fully getting all of the ins and outs of the doorbell conversation above, is it possible to create a virtual button / doorbell press that can accomplish what is being done via ST → IFTTT → VM → Alexa, via a button / doorebell that can be set directly in ST to trigger Alexa, like the currently problematic contact sensors do.
Sorry to be long winded. Hope this helps. AND THANKS AGAIN!!!
I’m afraid there’s not much I can do to affect the current issues with Alexa integration. The device I’m creating is really just like the vEdge Alexa virtual device, so if you’re having problems with that, then you most like will see the same problems with this new device.
That said, assuming the Alexa integration is reliable, this new device configuration would allow you to do what you want, which as I understand it, is to:
initiate a doorbell (button) press within SmartThings - either manually using the app or automatically using an automation
have that doorbell button press trigger a routine in Alexa to go do something (I really don’t know what that ‘something’ is )
#2 still has to be done via a contact capability, so if that’s is really broken for some people (it’s not for me), then this won’t solve that issue.
Thanks for the update @TAustin … as I mentioned, I am currently using @ygerlovin contact sensors and I am having the Alexa problem of them not reliably triggering. I have a ticket open with Amazon. I was going to switch to yours but others are reporting issues here as well. Seems you are working fine. It does seem to be intermittent. Some of my contact sensors do work. Some don’t. Out of desperation, yesterday I switched all of these to utilize the Voice Monkey path described by someone in the chain, as it turned out only 10 of my 37 contacts are used in my Alexa routines … so it wasn’t as much work as I originally thought. Two more points of failure as IFTTT now senses the contact and presses the Voice Monkey button for Alexa, but they are working reliably right now. I don’t know if the voice monkey doorbell presses are using contact sensors, as you described, but they are working right now. And you don’t seem to be having issues with your contact sensors right now either. Hopefully the root cause of everyone’s issues gets figured out at some point. It would be good to go back to a method that is a direct ST to Alexa interface instead of the hops I have switched to (which hopefully don’t stop working as well). Thanks again
First time poster here but I can across this post having the same issues with virtual switches not triggering routines in Alexa.
A workaround I have found for now that is working for me is to change the virtual switches to vEdge locks. You then have to change your triggers on Alexa for your routines, but it has been working 100% of the time for the past 2 days. I have my routines set to trigger when the virtual lock unlocks. One benefit is that you don’t have to “reset” the lock back to locked to trigger the routine again. You can keep unlocking the virtual lock over and over and Alexa will continue to trigger the routine.