It is now March 2018; what is the most simple way to use an Amazon Echo speaker from SmartThings? I would like to use it to announce things I have in webCoRE or some other way to interface. I would like to limit the number of apps and hopefully hardware needed to us the Alexa speaker as a notification device.
I have an Echo Dot v2 if that matters but I hope the solution will work for all of the Echo devices.
Short answer is you can’t…not yet…The Echo continues to be a ‘request only’ device…you must initiate conversation (except when it laughs on its own). However, there have been rumors for over a year that they would implement some sort of notification systems, and some apps (like their own package delivery system) do that.
My guess…it will still happen…but for when…you could place money on any day and you have certain odds of winning (low, but not 0%).
I have seen BigTalker, LANnouncer, Echosistant, and other solutions but not a direct way to use the speaker as you say. I would prefer not to use an android device (tablet) or Windows box, but if there was only one app it would I think be the easiest way to do it. I would just prefer not to have 2+ apps to get something this simple to work. I have seen suggestions over the years but nothing current which was why I decided to post this question.
I agree. Again I think this will happen. I wrote Ask Alexa and have already implemented a way of outputting to things like sonos speakers and will be able to push to Echos when that feature is available.
There are some ‘funky’ work arounds, mostly with Raspberry Pis and undocumented API calls. However, for standard types of alerts (i.e. a door is open) I use my Alexa Virtual Device Creator app along with a routine to trigger voice output. It is ‘clunky’, but it works. Dynamic output is still the holy grail.
Well i got it working with motion sensors through smartthings… Speakers now speak when there is motion and turn on lights…After adding motion sensor to Alexa via smartthings then creating my routine. I had to the tell alexa to start discovery. After that it now works. Tried a few more and everything is working after you discovery (After routine is created)
I noticed there’s no way to pick multiple echo’s for it to announce on in a single routine. I.e. if you want it to announce in 3 different rooms when a door is open you have to make 3 separate routines in the alexa app, kind of clunky. Also noticed like our iphones as presence sensors in ST do not show up in alexa app as a device.
I’ve been constantly annoyed with my music not resuming on my sonos systems every time there is a notification, so trying to move the notifications over to the echo’s, but nothing seems like an ideal solution.
Go back and edit your routine for the door open, make sure you choose “Messaging” instead of “Alexa says”, then choose Send Announcement and enter in your custom message announcement. After clicking Next button, you can select “All devices” or whatever combination of echo’s you want to announce to.
Ahh, thanks. Yea that is better, just adds a little tone before the message is all. I still miss some of the functionality of doing within smart things like only announcing in certain modes (i.e. not when no one is home, or not in the bedroom when my wife is sleeping etc) but that is an improvement. Another option without goofing up my sonos all the time is lannouncer to my 3 wall mounted fire tablets, but i don’t have those as many places and the volume seems a little low.
Echo speaks is fine if you need all of its functionality, but as of the fall of 2018 Amazon has added more functionality to their app which now makes this much easier to do and you often don’t need any custom code at all depending on exactly what you are trying to accomplish. It has to do with Amazon routines ( which are different than SmartThings routines.)
There is a community FAQ that explains how to do this. It’s become a very popular feature, and again is much easier to set up and use than the echo speaks smartapp.
As far as being able to restrict the times when it happens or fold in other more complex logic, you could also do that with this method. You set up a virtual device which is the one that will trigger the Amazon routine. Then use all of your smartthings logic to decide when to activate that virtual device.
Example : I have an Alexa routine/webcore piston that turns up the volume of my ceiling speakers when I say “Alexa, speaker volume up”. Unfortunately, it does so for every active ceiling speaker in the house. I do not have smart speakers. I would like to be able to query which Alexa was spoken to and act on items in that location only. And I don’t want to use Echo Speaks.
(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart)
hmmm, ok. That is able to be done.
Why do you not want to use Echo Speaks?