Using "Hello Home" Phrases with Amazon Echo?


(Nathan Parker) #1

Can the Amazon Echo be used with various “Hello Home” phrases to switch between modes? SmartThings Support says it’s not officially supported yet, but I’m curious if anyone in the community has tried it and if it worked for them.

Thanks!


#2

See our new category in the forums on the official Smartthings/Amazon echo integration. It’s very easy to do modes, but you have to assign them to a virtual switch. Then you just have Amazon echo turn the switch on and you change to that mode. A number of people are using this.

As @Tyler has mentioned, virtual switches can make the smartthings integration really powerful. :sunglasses:


(Ron S) #3

I created a night mode simulated switch, paired it with Echo, created a group named “night mode” with only the switch. Used a SmartApp already available as mentioned by @JDRoberts to trigger 'goodnight" when turned on and “good morning” when turned off.

Alexa, Turn on Night Mode
Alexa, Turn off Night Mode


(Nathan Parker) #4

Thanks for the info! I will look over the documentation, and should I decide to get an Echo, I’ll chime back in with any questions I have setting it up. By the way, how do you like the Echo?


(Ron S) #5

Best thing that happened to me… And missus is jealous like hell as it seems I spend more time calling Alexa do this and that… Rather than missus…: :wink: I wish I could afford another one but I make do with the remote. So, good for your married life too as it will bring back the spice with two ladies competing!!! Ultimate gainer: me! Priceless :wink:


(Nathan Parker) #6

Hee hee! I’ll sure look into getting one.


(Scott Windmiller) #7

@smart, you better hope to god that your wife never looks at this forum :wink:
I have a pull-out sofa in Maryland if you ever need it but you better leave my Alexa alone :smile:


(Ron S) #8

She never does, buddy! This is my alternative life. :wink:


(Nathan Parker) #9

By the way, here’s why I’m asking, and I’m wondering what is the best way to go about this. I’m looking at getting the strobe siren and installing it in my home to have it go off either at night or when I’m away from the house in the event someone breaks in.

However, my dad sometimes works late night shifts and gets in early in the morning, while my SmartThings system would still be “armed” in “night” mode. Therefore, if he opens a door, the siren would sound.

A way around this would be to give him a presence sensor to attach to his keyring so when he comes home, the system “disarms” (sets to “I’m back”) before he opens the door so the siren won’t sound.

However, sometimes he goes straight to bed, and he may want to “re-arm” (re-set the system back to “night” mode) before he goes to bed, or in the unfortunate event something doesn’t fare properly with the presence sensor and he still sounds the alarm, he needs a way to quickly change SmartThings modes again to arm/disarm the system.

He doesn’t use a smartphone (barely knows how to use a flip phone), and I’m the only family member with an iPhone and Apple Watch. He needs some type of simple to use device that would allow him to change modes and arm/disarm the system that would be easy to show him how to use.

Hence why I’m considering the Echo. He could simply speak a command to it to arm/disarm the system using his voice.

Plus I could figure out how to program the Echo to be sassy toward him so he sees just how good his home life with mother really is. :wink:


#10

Again, you can’t program the echo to say specific things. You can do that with the Sonos. But the echo is really designed to take language in and then it has its own responses.

Also, anything that you can disarm just via voice command to the echo, anyone can disarm by voice command to the echo, including by standing outside your front door and yelling at it. So probably not the best choice for voice. :wink: but you could certainly have echo arm the alarm by voice, using a virtual switch.

Many people just use a button key fobs where you press a button and that disarms the alarm, or different button that arms the alarm. There’s one popular one that people use that only cost $15. Similar to how you would use a button key fob to lock or unlock your car door.

The Echo is a great device, and I really like it, but it’s not really a good fit for most alarm system disarm scenarios. It would definitely work for your rearm from bed scenario, though, it’s a very good match for that. :sunglasses:


(Nathan Parker) #11

Thanks for the info! Good to know.

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/Zwave-Controllers/Zwave-Remotes/Aeon-Labs-DSA22-ZWUS-Z-Wave-Key-Fob-Remote-Control.html

If I purchased a Key Fob similar to this one, could I program one of the buttons to “arm” and one of the buttons to “disarm” (aka switch between “home” and “night” modes), then install it on my dad’s keyring, then when he comes in, if he needed to re-arm or dis-arm the house anytime, he could?

Thanks!


(Nathan Parker) #12

If there’s a better model you recommend, feel free to.


#13

Yes, exactly.

As far specific device selection, I can’t really help: I’m quadriparetic and can’t use any of those devices myself, the buttons are too small for me.

I know the securifi $15 fob is popular in the community but I think that’s just the price. It’s really tiny, though, the Aeon fob may be easier to use for some people. Just depends on your own preferences.


(Nathan Parker) #14

Sounds good! I found the securifi on Amazon:

If I get that, do I need any additional hardware or anything else, or can I pair it right up to SmartThings and program the remote? Seems like it would be simple, straightforward, and affordable.

Thanks!


#15

It hasn’t been officially tested, but there are community members who have written a device type for it, so you just cut-and-paste that basically.

First read the following FAQ on using custom code:

And then here is the topic on that specific device. Skip down to post 68, dated August 31.


#16

@april

My bad, we hijacked this thread. :scream:

Please move posts 9 through 16 to a new thread in Devices called “best handheld device to change security mode?”

Thanks!


(Nathan Parker) #17

Thanks for the info! I’ll look at the custom code.

I’m on my iPad, but if you need to shuffle some of this to a new thread, feel free to. I’m not worried about your posts on this thread though, as it has been hugely beneficial.


(Micheal ) #18

While the thread here went off course, we are discussing this here: Alexa Helper - Change mode or phrase with a switch toggle


(Danroot) #19

I’ve been annoyed that I couldn’t trigger routines from Alexa. I’ve read various solutions, but came up with my own, which involves creating just one virtual device that can be used directly by routines without any other smartapps. The readme has step-by-step how to set it up. https://github.com/danroot/smartthings_virtual_open_closed_tile