Strange Alexa Behavior


(Joel W) #1

OK here is my problem, I have been working on this for hours.
I have a dual channel Inovelli plug. The plug works fine on both channels. If I say to Alexa open Joel’s Garage the switch turns on using the Alexa routine I created. Remember this is not a actual garage door. I then created the exact same routine in Alexa which is for my wife’s garage. I say Alexa, Open Alayne’s Garage all I get is double bloop. But if I say Alexa turn on Alayne’s Garage the thing works. Any ideas would be appreciated, as I have no idea what I am doing wrong. Below is the screenshot of the routines.


(Nathan Curtis) #2

We need more. What exactly is happening within each routine. Shut garage does what? Open Garage does what? Is the Inovelli connected through ST to Alexa, or is it connected directly to Alexa without ST? If it’s connected to ST what does your realtime log say?


(Joel W) #3

Figured it out to a point. Alexa doesn’t understand Alayne’s it thinks I am saying Elaine’s. So I had to change the invocation to Elaine’s.


(Tom Guelker) #4

Again, my exact reason for naming all my lights numerically - very few misunderstood commands. After about a week I knew which light was associated with what number. 1, 2, 3 and 9 are all in the living room. (the numbers are the order in which each thing was purchased, hence 9 coming after 3 in the living room).

4 is on the front porch. 5 and 6 are the post lights. 7 and 8 are only used when it’s Christmas to control the lights. 10 is a spare unused dimmer that plugs into a wall.

I have OCP and this seems the most logical way to name lights. It’s a whole lot easier saying “Hey Google, turn on 3” than saying “Hey Google, turn on Alayne’s Garage”

Try my method, and let me know if it helps.


(Joel W) #5

I have way to many devices to do it that way. But I did rename the one Garage one and the other garage two.


(Eric) #6

That was my immediate thought when I saw the spelling.


(Joel W) #7

It was even giving me problems with that name, so I gave up and now call it Garage One and Garage Two.


(Eric) #8

Play with other spellings, like elane or Ellie


(Joel W) #9

Tried that, spent hours, even broke it up to “A lane”, no luck


(Eric) #10

You could always legally change her name to something Alexa will understand. :smiley:

Have you tried the Alexa voice training to help her interpret what you’re saying?


(Mark) #11

IIRC you have reported issues with alexa that are specific to your wife, but not you, in other threads too.

So it does seem very likely that the issue is with Alexa understanding your wife’s name.


(Barry) #12

Wow, kinda defeats the notion of Alexa being our home automation agent if we have to speak “computerese” to get something done instead of natural language IMHO.

Next we’ll be saying
"Alexa, Beep boop BEEP-BEEP booBEEP" :slight_smile:


(Glen King) #13

I ended up changing all the names of things and rooms in SmartThings, to give Alexa priority for natural naming. It was a bit of a PITA, but well worth it.

My automation does not need to know that the back room is where we eat. All it needs to know is “turn on lights in room X”. My wife, otoh, needs to be able to say “Alexa, turn on the dining room lights” and have it work.


(Joel W) #14

It could also be a combination of my pronunciation and Alexa understanding. I did change my voice, but I might try again.


(Mark) #15

I’m not sure I see the difference. Alexa has to understand your pronunciation. Unless you mean Alexa has trouble understanding you in general, but not other people?

Either way, I agree with what’s been suggested above that trying to spell her name as phonetically as possible may help. Like Uhlane, for example.

While naming things numerically may be easier for Alexa to understand, I agree that for many homes it will make things harder for the humans, defeating the purpose of spending all this money to make our homes smarter. But obviously whatever works for each home differs on a case by case basis.


(Joel W) #16

Since it is only the one name, changing it to garage one and two isn’t a big deal. I have tried phonetically many different ways, and no luck. I haven even broken things up. So I know when to say, “I LOST to a Electronic Device”, and quit.


(Mark) #17

LOL, happens to the best of us.


(Eric) #18

Yes, I did this, too… Since I want Alexa to control everything effortlessly.


(Eric) #19

Ok, I just experienced this with a “regular” name. My Dad’s name is Ric, but Alexa wasn’t understanding it. When I looked under Alexa history, I saw the problem:

Here’s the device:

But this is what Alexa was hearing:

When I changed the device name to “Rick”, it worked. So, if you still want to use Alayne, type it in normally, and then look in the history to see how Alexa hears/spells it. That spelling should work.


(Joel W) #20

I did that, and three different times Alexa recognized a different name. Her name and “Hallway” it never gets right. “Hall” it understands, so this is strange. It would be nice to be able to train certain words.