SmartThings Community

Using Contact and Motion Sensors to Trigger Alexa Routines (DTH in post 97) (Official Amazon Feature)


Unfortunately you will probably lose them. To be clear, I had to disable the Skill on the Alexa side then re-enable it (which then required a fresh login to ST to remake the connection).

(Ernie) #64

I had the same issue. I disabled the Smartthings skill for Alexa and re-enable and the Routines started working. It kept my groups intact so no extra work there. However, it does add every Smartthings device you have to Alexa. Spent some time cleaning that up.

(Mike) #65

Still no luck for me… It is very strange as I can’t imagine Alexa has any way to differentiate a physical sensor from a simulated sensor in Smartthings.

I have now tried this 4 different times. Each of the 4 physical sensors successfully fired an Alexa Routine and each of the 4 simulated sensors failed to fire an Alex Routine despite reflecting the state change on the device detail screen in the Alexa App.

I appreciate any other suggestions from anyone… I am not expecting that I will get much help from Amazon support on this.

(Jimmy) #66

Simulated contact is working fine for me. :man_shrugging: Using it for a laundry alert.

(Mike) #67

Thanks for the additional confirmation…

I tried Amazon Support. First person had no idea what I was talking about and I quickly suggested and got transferred to a supervisor. Unfortunately I don’t think the supervisor really understood the situation completely but got them to submit a ticket to engineering. The problem is that I don’t know if the supervisor really got the details of my problem onto the ticket. She kept making references to what phrase I was using to trigger the Alexa Routine despite my repeatedly correcting her that I am triggering the routine with a sensor. I now have to wait 1 to 3 days for a response.


My guess, and it’s purely a guess, is that it has to do with the DTH for the virtual sensor.

Maybe those who have it working could let us know exactly which DTH they are using and if they have modified in anyway.

(Jimmy) #69


I may have forgotten all my devices first before disabling the skill - I can’t remember exactly. Perhaps if I did that is why I lost my groups.

As for Alexa adding all ST devices back - that is controlled by the ST Alexa app where you can have it just add everything from ST by default or manually choose. I do the latter so it doesn’t add dupes of devices that get added from other services (like Wemo for example).

(Ernie) #71

I had the Alexa smartapp setup that way too but I didn’t realize it would reset to allow all devices when the Smartthings skill was reauthorized and a device discovery was run. No lasting harm done, only took a few minutes to delete devices from alexa that didn’t need to be there.

(Mike Coscia) #72

Ugh, that stinks. Guess I’ll have something to keep me busy this weekend…lol.

(Mike) #73

Thanks for the suggestion @JDRoberts and for sharing your setup @prjct92eh2

I have also been using the standard Simulated Contact Sensor DTH with no modification. Given I can see the states changes of my Simulated Contact Sensor correctly in the Device Detail screen on the Alexa App, I am assuming it must be an issue on the Amazon side. The Alexa App allows me to create a routine that is triggered by the Simulated Contact Sensor and it accurately captures the state change of the Simulated Contact Sensor, but for some reason the Routine does not execute.

I appreciate all the feedback and suggestions.

(Jeffrey) #74

I only spent a minute on it but seemed like I had an issue with simulated contact and switched it to a simulated motion and it worked. Haven’t had time to revisit yet

(Daven Maharaj) #75

Nothing working for me either. Simulated Contact or Motion does not trigger Alexa routine to run.

(Ernie) #76

Have you disabled and re-enabled the Smartthings skill?

(Mike) #77

Thanks @jjslegacy. Like @ravend, I had tried both contact and motion and neither was working.

Kudos and big thanks to @ErnieG! I disabled and re-enabled the Smarthings skill in the Alexa App and all of my test Simulated Contact and Motion Sensors are now working.

Thanks to all who replied!

FAQ: Creating a virtual Device
(Daven Maharaj) #78

Great news. Did disabling and enabling the skill delete any of your existing routines? I have over 30!


My one routine is still there after disabling/re-enabling.

I like that we can use routines to make custom announcements, the next thing to figure out is how to make random announcements… something other than making multiple routines for each random announcement.


If you don’t mind a slight delay, you can daisychain this.

Have the primary echo routine turn on a virtual switch.

Have the virtual switch trigger a web core piston to randomly select a virtual contact sensor to turn on.

Have an echo routine for each of those contact sensors with a different phrase for each one.

You could also probably just do the whole thing in webcore to start with, Ending up with the random virtual contact sensor to open. :sunglasses:


That’s the easy part :slight_smile:

(Mike) #82

Nope… It looks like all my Routines were still there including the ones triggered by sensors. I too have a long list, so I have not had a chance to verify them all, but I think you are safe.

I had to do the same thing after migrating to the Samsung Account and I did not lose any of my Routines then either.