Use SmartThings to make Alexa run a skill


#1

Is it possible to make Alexa run a skill through ST? I have a “good night” routine setup in Alexa that will turn off lights, on fans, etc but then I have to ask Alexa again to “make it rain” which starts the Ambient Sounds skills and plays rain sounds through the Alexa speaker. Is there a way to only speak one command, “good night”, and everything will run, including the rain skill?


#2

Routines for the Echo can be created through the Alex app. I would “assume” you could tell it to run your SmartThings routine and then start playing your ran sounds. I can’t test it myself, but here is how to make routines via Alexa:


#3

For now, I think you are out of luck. Two things standing in the way:

  1. Alexa actions for routines are really, really limited … report weather, saying preselected things, playing your flash briefing, traffic report, or ask SmartThings to do something not security related. It is frustrating you can’t even ask Alexa to say something not on her list of phrases … such as, “Don’t forget to take out the garbage”. That’s got to be a growth area for Alexa as Amazon expands its smart home capabilities.
  2. Alexa can command SmartThings but not vice-versa. Alexa has to be in the driver’s seat and originate the action based on something you say, or a scheduled time. Not input from SmartThings.

Probably the best you can do for now is to configure Alexa to not require saying the wake word for a new command if it comes right after another one. There, saved you one word.


#4

See the FAQ (this is a clickable link). The short answer is this cannot be done at the present time except by setting up a separate speaker device to speak the command that you want so echo can hear it.


#5

Unfortunately, It doesn’t work that way. As @Luther noted, Alexa’s routines are limited to very specific behavior categories right now, and that does not include invoking other Alexa skills.

Assumptions rarely turn out to be true in home automation. :disappointed_relieved: We all know how a Jetson house or a Star Trek computer should work, but current reality is a long way from that, and all the available systems have significant limitations that you often have to find in the footnotes.


#6

I assume you are trying to use ST to command an Alexa integrated device that won’t integrate with ST? I thought the same thing when the Alexa routines came out. Unfortunately only Alexa can run Alexa routines.