In that case it could probably be done with IFTTT being the middle man between Kevo and SmartThings.
Could also check Stringify and/or Yonomi
With SmartThings providing neither a STATE (Home, Away, Armed, etc.) nor a
TRIGGER when automation routines fire (“Goodbye”, “Goodnight”, etc.), it
seems unlikely that I will be able to get the functionality I am looking
for in regard to my Kevo smart locks automatically locking after everyone
leaves the house.
However, I may be missing somthing obvious.
I have requested those additonal IFTTT / ST integrations as well as better
ST / kwikSet Kevo functionality (we’ll see if anything comes of it).
Keep the ideas coming, though!
You would create a simulated switch in SmartThings. Call it Front Door or whatever. Set the switch to turn on with the goodby routine. Then create an IFTTT rule that when that switch is turned on in ST to lock the Kevo. And so on for i’m back except turning off.
Thats a good idea, Jimmy!
I am not familiar with the virtual switch - where / how would I add it? The app? Elsewhere?
Unfortunately, that won’t work in this particular case, because Kevo is supersensitive about opening up their system to third parties, and their IFTTT channel only Allows the Kevo to be used as an “if” not as a “that.”
So you could get a notification that the door was unlocked, but you cannot issue the unlock command from the smartthings side. ( nor do you get any information about which user unlocked it)
It is Kevo themselves who have kept their System walled off, so there’s nothing smartthings can do about it until Kevo opens up more options for third-party integration.
It’s not obvious, but that information is available in the smartthings system, it’s just not readily exposed through the mobile app UI.
So to get that information, many people use the virtual switch method which @Automated_House mentioned.
The point is that smartthings does allow a routine to turn a virtual Switch on/off and also allows you to set a routine to be automatically fired whenever A virtual switch is turned on/off.
So anything which a routine can do can be initiated by a switch.
That gives you very simple integration with many third-party systems including IFTTT, Amazon echo, etc. They can’t see the SmartThings modes, alarm states, door unlock routines, etc-- but they can see a simple switch, and you can set it up so that that switch going on or off will cause any of the other things to happen on the SmartThings side.
Here is the FAQ for that (this is a clickable link)
So that’s the good news. Pretty much anything that smart things can do can be controlled through its IFTTT channel by using the virtual switch method described in the FAQ.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that doesn’t help in this particular case, because Kevo does not allow its lock to be a “that” in an IFTTT applet. So no matter what the SmartThings event is, you can’t use the Kevo IFTTT channel to unlock the lock because of restrictions on the Kevo side.
Well, I can issue a vocal door LOCK (not unlock) command to each Kevo lock
via Alexa (that utilizes the Kevo gateway) - this is a new feature just
announced within the last month or so.
Since I only want to issue a LOCK command to the Kevo’ when no one is home,
and Kevo has opened up this function - perhaps we will see this appear on
ST / Wink / etc.
Also, I have made the following feature request to ST for better
Integration with Alexa as follows:
Thanks for submitting that feature request!
Might I suggest one more?
This feature would be a real game-changer since SmartThings could make the
claim that they can control virtually ANY device that Alexa can control as
well as initiate virtually ANY skill that Alexa has.
Here’s the simple way it would work:
If the SmartThings/Alexa Integration allowed SmartThings to send command
phrases to Alexa in the form of electronic TEXT string (such as “turn on
porch light”, etc.), then SmartThings could CONTROL virtually ANY SYSTEM
that Alexa can control.
Using this integration method, SmartThings could simply add another action
option in their automation section of their App so that when a particular
event triggers, a text phrase can be sent electronically to Alexa and the
resulting response from the Alexa system would be the same as if the user
had audibly spoken it - except in this case, no audible command would be
heard in the room, and no speech-to-text conversion needs to be performed
by Alexa, since the command phrase has been sent directly to the Alexa
device (or cloud) by SmartThings."
I think it’s unlikely that they’re going to go the text string route because from the beginning Amazon has been committed to what in AI is called “natural language” vocal commands rather than specific phrases. That’s why you can say “turn on the lamp” or “turn on lamp” or “turn the lamp on” or a bunch of other things and get the same result. It’s the Amazon cloud, not smartthings, which parses those requests and eventually figures out what specific commands should be sent on over to the device controller.
Prior to the echo there were a number of voice Command system is for home automation but they all require that you say and exact phrase in the specific wording that would then be matched to a database of phrases. They worked, but they drive people crazy because it was hard to remember exactly what to say for each request. Echo’s big advantage was moving away from phrase matching to natural language.
I’m not saying it’s impossible that they would ever find a reason to add some phrase matching, but I think it’s going to be pretty low on their priority list as it doesn’t match their design philosophy.
If you do want to use phrase matching, you already can by using the Alexa IFTTT channel, so you wouldn’t be adding any new functionality in any case.
Having the user type in a text string into a field on the SmartThings app that is the voice command that they use (whatever the variation) would work just fine.
All that is being suggested is bypassing the speech-to-text (voice recognition) portion and sending that to the Amazon Alexa cloud to process the same text as if the user had said it to a microphone.
The ability to have IFTTT or SmartThings send a phrase directly to the Amazon Alexa cloud (bypassing the front-end voice rec) is, I believe, a new integration point I am requesting – in order to send commands (that are usually spoken) to Amazon Alexa as text (which is what the underlying engine processes anyway: i.e.: a text string).
What is also currently lacking is the field (in the SmartThings app) that would allow the user to enter an Alexa command phrase string as well as the functionality (in BOTH SmartThings, IFTTT, etc.) to pass that string to the Amazon Alexa speech processing cloud.
Amazon Alexa may or may not have an entry point to accomodate
Whether the user types in:
“turn on living room light”
“turn living room light on”
“activate light in living room”
is irrelevant: If Alexa recognizes any of those command phrases when they are spoken out loud, then it will recognize them in text form typed in by the user (since text is what the Amazon Alexa cloud engine is parsing as “natural language”. The speech-to-text engine is “merely” the front end that builds the text string for the "natural language” parsing engine to process.
You have this now for a voice UI using the Alexa IFTTT service OR in some cases Alexa routines (not SmartThings routines).
You literally type in the exact phrase that you want Alexa to recognize. Then you have to use the trigger construct so that echo knows to bypass natural language processing.
“Echo, trigger open the pod bay doors” to use one popular one. That becomes the “if” in your IFTTT applet. Then you can use SmartThings as the that. So for spoken phrases, it already exists.
Also with the new echo routines (not smart things routines) you can do the same thing without IFtTT for smart home devices that echo already knows about. You don’t need to use the word “trigger.” And if you use the virtual switch method already mentioned, you can have it work for pretty much anything that smartthings can do.
So “Alexa, Open the pod bay doors” fires and echo routine which turns on a virtual switch in SmartThings, which then does pretty much whatever you want.
If you are saying you want echo to act not as a voice UI but you just want to be able to send in a text command, why put echo in the middle at all? Echo adds voice recognition and natural language processing, neither of which would be needed for that scenario.
Instead, why not just use the IFTTT Gmail channel? That’s a common way for getting integration with third-party systems that can send emails, like some security systems.
IFTTT also has an SMS text processing channel also which we used to use for voice control before the echo was available, but they have since put some pretty strict limits on it, about 100 messages a month, so now it’s really only good for emergency use cases.
Echo is really great, but it’s not a universal UI, and there’s no reason that it needs to be.
If the IDE process is too daunting to create a virtual switch, or you would prefer to do it ‘in app’ you can do it with this app: [RELEASE] Alexa Virtual Switch Creator
Since Alexa is the only system that has the ability to issue a LOCK command to my Kwikset Kevo smart locks, I would like to have IFTTT invoke an Alexa action.
Unfortunately, according to the IFTTT page for their Alexa integration (below), “There are currently no actions for this service”
What I want to do is to have IFTTT to tell Alexa to LOCK my front door.
Unfortunately, right now, Alexa can only be used as a Trigger (to initiate something to happen in IFTTT).
I would like to see the IFTTT/Amazon Alexa integration include Actions.
A single action would be fine with me: Send the text typed in the text box to Alexa as if someone spoke into an echo.
In a perfect world, I would like to see this capability in SmartThings as well (toss Wink in there while we’re at it).
Yeah, that’s an Amazon restriction for now. A lot of people would like to be able to get echo to be the “that” in an IFTTT applet, but it’s not there yet. That request should be sent to Amazon feedback.
There is a really kludgy work around, and I understand completely if your reaction is “that’s ridiculous!” But there are some community members who have set up a separate android device, typically an inexpensive phone, physically next to an echo device and then use one of the SmartThings – controlled text to speech options, like LANnouncer, to have the android device speak the desired command which the echo will then respond to.
You can then control or schedule the android device in pretty much anyway you want using SmartThings. You could have it speak A predefined statement based on Geopresence, time of day, some other sensor going off, whatever.
There are some people doing that when there is an integration like the one that you described, where the only third-party integration that a device manufacturer has opened up to is Alexa.
So as with many things in SmartThings it’s doable, but sometimes the method is both weird and inelegant.
That is an interesting workaround!
One side benefit is that I could use that same Android device as an
annuciator in the home to announce other events, such as “Intruder
detected, police will be contacted”, “someone is at the front door”, “water
detected in basement”, etc.
If I preface an phrase with, “Alexa”, then almost any Alexa skill could be
Or, if I wanted to “hide” the audio/audio integration, I could plug a jack
int the headphone jack of the Android device and wire it in directly to one
of the Echo Dot’s mics (maybe requiring an in-series resistor or
Thanks for the suggestion!
I may also take a look at the Alexa API to see wht it allows. There may
also be a way to incorporate an Alexa skill…
W. John Ruffing
+1 734-679 <+1%20734-679>-7201
Trove thinks John Ruffing has recently responded less often but faster than
As JD said, you will probably not get to do this natively any time soon…But apps like Alexa Helper and Ask Alexa can assist with that. Let me know if you are interested in going down that route.
I’ve done something similar to what @JDRoberts suggested to you. My brother has this same lock. The only workaround i found for it was to use a combination of webCoRE, Alexa and Sonos. I set it up that if all of his presence senors were gone then using his Sonos speakers say “Alexa lock the door”.