SmartThings Community

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

(Mark Phelps) #103

I have the same as you, in the UK, sensors recognised and able to query their state, but no option to include them in routines.

The app has updated twice in the last week, but that particular ability hasn’t…

(Kraeg) #104

Glad it’s not just me then, thought I was going mad.

Roll on an update, think this will be quite useful


It’s good to see improvements in Alexa, but the thought of creating a Simulated Switch for each and every canned response sounds like we currently only have two choices :

  • Make the phrases simplistic, or
  • Make a TON of SimSwitches.

For example, if I wanted Alexa to announce this statement (with 5 variables):

The time is 4:00 P.M . It’s 79 degrees and Partly Cloudy outdoors.
Tonight’s low is 50 degrees. It is a comfortable 73 degrees inside.

it would require over one billion SimSwitches to cover all possible announcements.
(1440 * 68 * 20 * 38 * 14 = 1,041,868,800)

I think I will stick with this method to get total freedom in my announcements. (and only one line of code in webCoRE)


I’m sure Amazon will continue to add new features in the future.

Meanwhile, you can already include a weather report in a routine if you want to. It may not be exactly the format that you prefer, but it will be a lot easier than custom code. :sunglasses:

(Sidney) #107

I’ve done a lot of testing over the last few days. Alexa only seems to detect actual Motion Sensors at the moment. Simulated anything doesn’t work. Actual Contact Sensors do not work.

I’m awaiting the updates to this feature…

(MarkTr) #108

My actual contact sensors (visonic MCT-340 running SmartSense Open-Close DTH) are working reliably in Alexa.

Edited to add: Alexa is successfully announcing my garage door opening with my ST multi-purpose sensor set to tilt, too.

(Sidney) #109

I’ve got the new SmartThings Multipurpose Sensors, and Alexa is not catching the ‘open’ command.

(Sidney) #110

Right now, I have the larger piece on the wall, and the magnet piece on the garage door.

Is that backwards?

(Jimmy) #111

shouldn’t matter. are the open/close events being logged properly in the device history?

(Sidney) #112

Yes, open/close is being logged properly.

If I put it in ‘garage door’ mode, should they be the other way around?


If you have a piece with a tilt sensor and you expect to get information on the tilt, then that piece has to go on the moving part of the garage door. :sunglasses:

(Sidney) #114

Well, I’ve tried both ways, and my Alexa will not catch the ‘open’, and will not announce. This is on the one on the garage door, and the one on my back door. Neither one gets triggered in Alexa, but shows up perfect in the app log.

(Sidney) #115

Removing the SmartThings Skill in the Alexa App, then adding it back solved all issues.

Thanks everyone!

(Robert) #116

Do you lose all of your groups, routines etc. In the Alexa app If you disable/unlink the Smarthings skill?

(Sidney) #117

No, I did not lose anything.

(Shane) #118

Really excited about this! My Echo Dot is bluetoothed to a BOSE speaker 24/7and mainly use it for music and it gets LOUD.

Now with some webcore and simulated contact sensors, I should be able to make a custom siren or song through the BOSE speaker to start when SHM is Away and a sensor is opened and/or motion detected.

Will have to start looking for a long siren song :)!

Edit: Looks like most sirens that are available on Amazon Music are only 30 seconds long. Going to try and loop this in WebCore - Haven’t had a chance to run it, but will once the wife and baby leave! Will do the same thing with motion sensors, if this one works correctly.

(Shane) #119

Also, does any one know how to properly query Alexa for open/close contacts? For example, when I say “Alexa, is my front door open?” Some times she gets it some times she doesnt… does not seem to like “Alexa, tell me the status of my front door”.

Just wondering how you guys are querying Alexa when asking for contact sensor info?

(Allan) #120

Yeah…its a little touchy, Like I dont allow Alexa access to my garage door (called “Garage Door Opener” in SmartThings) but I did add the tilt sensor which is in SmartThings as “Garage Door Tilt Sensor”. So to check I say “Alexa, is the garage door tilt sensor open?” and it answers back “The garage door tilt sensor is closed”.

If I were smart I’d rename the tilt sensor in the Alexa app to “Garage Door” but I keep forgetting…

(Sidney) #121

I can’t get Alexa to recognize a simulated contact sensor or simulated motion sensor.

I’ve got 3 virtual buttons. “Weather Clear”, “Weather Cloudy” and “Weather Rain”.

IFTTT using Weather Underground turns the appropriate button on (which turns the other two off). Certain lights will turn on at 10% for Cloudy and 50% for Rain. This has been working great, and is pretty accurate.

I would like my Alexa to announce “Rain has been detected in your area” when the Rain is turned on, so that I know to either turn sprinklers off or put them on rain delay.

But, I cannot get Alexa to announce anything using a Simulated (Virtual) device.

Edit: Sorry… forgot to mention that WebCore will detect if “Weather Rain” is on, and will open/close the simulated contact sensor, but Alexa does not recognize it.


I’m bummed about this too! I have a ton of sound effects!