[Suggestion:] Harmony integration - associating activities with hubs

The Harmony (Connect) smartapp has the ability to create a virtual switch for each activity defined on your Harmony hub.

To do this, it presents a list of those activities.

A problem arises when you have multiple hubs and you have identically named activities on two or more of those hubs.When this occurs, when the smartapp presents the list of activities there is no way to discern which activity belongs with which hub.

This is not an uncommon situation as activities often have names such as “Watch TV” or “Listen to music”.

I prefer not including the location/hub name within the name of each activity, as the activity name also appears on the LCD display of the physical remotes, where space is very limited and maintaining clarity is paramount.

Suggestion:

When listing the activities, suffix the activity name with the hub name enclosed in parentheses. Carry this over when setting the name for the virtual switch as well.

Alternatively, list the activities using a tree hierarchy, so the activities appear as branches below their respective hubs; you would, however, still need to resolve the naming of the virtual switches.

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Using special characters in the virtual switch names will cause problems with the Amazon echo (Alexa) integration. The name needs to be something which can be said easily, and also which won’t confuse Echo.

I realize echo is a present only available for the United States, but the SmartThings/harmony/echo combination is a very popular use case there.

The virtual switch name already includes special characters - they are currently automatically suffixed with “[Harmony Activity]”.

What characters won’t cause problems for the Echo? Or, better still, suggest to the Echo team a blacklist feature - i.e. specify a list of characters that the voice synthesiser and voice recognition should ignore.

The point is we already have to change them to make them work with Echo, so if ST is going to choose new defaults they might choose ones that won’t require a change. :sunglasses: