Use Alexa as Extended Door Bell?


(Rich Heimlich) #21

Thanks. It wasn’t the ST skill. Recycling that didn’t change anything. I’ll dig into what’s different with the two virtual switches I have that show up in the list. They were just added for use with ActionTiles to have a single tile to show me the state of “All Doors” (one tile that’s true if All Doors are closed and false if any of them are open) and one for “All Windows”… Those are fine so I’ll just dig into those to see how I set them up.


(Ian Powell) #22

Hello

I don’t know if anyone is still interested in getting Alexa to act as a doorbell extension or run Alexa routines, but I am in the final stages of testing an Alexa skill which I have been developing over the past few months.

I am creating an email list of people to be notified once its complete and in the Alexa store.

If you would like to be on this list then click this link : https://my.sendinblue.com/users/subscribe/js_id/3nuyt/id/2

Thanks


(Rich Heimlich) #23

Glad to hear this is being worked on.

Question: How would this differ from what we’re basically doing now? That is, for example, I have a simulated contact sensor that, when flipped, triggers Alexa (via the Alexa Routines feature) to say, “Excuse me, there’s someone at the door.” The flexibility of the Routines allows for it to play a sample, like a “ding dong” sound, or whatever we want. I also have several of these set up to speak this note on several of my Echo devices around the house where the normal doorbell isn’t all that audible.

Things that I feel would be great for a skill to be able to overcome:

  1. The ability to not need a simulated contact.
  2. The ability to set it up to match the above to allow it to play nearly any sound or speak any text.
  3. The ability to set it to play on multiple Echo devices without having to create a duplicate routine for every device (why Amazon doesn’t allow multi-select of devices is a mystery).

If this skill can improve upon my current setup or streamline that setup then I’d be interested.


(Ron Talley) #24

You can do alot with EchoSpeaks.


(Ian Powell) #25

Sorry, I am very new to the SmartThings eco system so are not sure what a ‘simulated contact’ is.
In addition to the Alexa skill, I am creating is also an API that when called will get Alexa to announce to all Alexa’s in the home (without needing to duplicate) that there’s someone at the door. Additionally, Amazon give you the choice of various door bell chimes and additionally you can choose to run a routine.

I thought it may be useful.


(Rich Heimlich) #26

A simulated contact sensor is something you can create, mainly via Webcore (scripting) that Smartthings and Alexa see as a real sensor in your system, but that you can control through code and then tie into a Routine. So, for example, I have one simulated contact sensor called “Dogs”. The code works like this:

IF doorbell sensor opens (someone rung the bell) or door motion sensor opens (someone knocked on the door) AND my alarm is set to Armed Away THEN open Dogs.

In Alexa the Routine then says IF Dogs changes to Open THEN turn up the volume of the Echo in the foyer to max and play a media file of dogs barking (which then bark for about 10 minutes which makes it nearly impossible for someone to hear the same dog bark sounds over and over in one session).

Another way we deal with this is to simply have a dry sensor on our old-style doorbell chime to sense the button push (which causes the chime to fire and the dry sensor is connected to a reed switch that closes and then that triggers Alexa to do whatever you want.

I only am filling you in on all of this to allow you to know what’s out there now and to hopefully make the skill go above and beyond that, or to just simplify all that.

Oh, also, I definitely would NOT want a skill that only has the option of playing the doorbell sound on ALL Devices as I never want this, for example, in my bedroom as my wife or I might be napping and not want to be disturbed. There’s also no reason, in my setup, to have the foyer echo device do this as it would just cause the actual doorbell sound AND the skill sound to fight against each other.


(Rich Heimlich) #27

Thanks for this Ron. Sounds like a way to possibly streamline a lot of my effort. I have Alexa Routines doing a lot of the lifting, but with this approach a single webcore script could replace quite a few Routines.