Volume control of third-party device via Amazon Echo (Alexa)


(Merlin) #1

Is anyone aware of a way to basically remap commands from one device type, to another?

Example:
When I say “Alexa, turn up/down the volume” – she only adjusts her own volume.
Whereas, I want her to turn up/down the volume of the soundbar for TV/stereo/media.

The only “external” up/down that I’m aware of, is temperature control.
e.g. Alexa, turn up/down the temperature.

I’m wondering if there’s some way to basically “remap” a thermostat control, to a third-party audio device.

Example"
1.) Create a device/routine that hits the “volume-up” button in the soundbar five times."
(Name that device “soundbar volume up.”)
2.) Create a virtual temperature switched named Soundbar, and share that device with Amazon Echo (Alexa.)

Thus, when you say, “Alexa, turn up Soundbar” – she would THINK that she’s turning-up the temperature of a thermostat device named “soundbar.” Behind-the-scenes, however, that virtual-thermostat would send five/repeated “vol-up” commands to the actual soundbar.

This would allow us to map almost any sound device behind this virtual-thermostat. (e.g. TVs, stereos, media players, DVD players, set-top-boxes, game consoles, wireless speakers, etc.)

I could even imagine creating “groups” of these audio devices.
e.g. Put all of your wireless surround-sound speakers into a group named “Living Room Audio.” But, your bass thumper could be named “bass.” Thus, via Alexa, you could control the sound up/down of the whole room. And, if it’s too late at night, you could specifically reduce the volume of the bass unit (so you don’t shake the neighbor’s walls.)

I could also see that this grouping ability would allow us to map dissimilar products/manufacturers! e.g. Adjusting the volume of Sonos and Samsung speakers with one single command (since both speaker types could be added to the same “group.”)

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!


#2

People have done something like this this. Back before echo had thermostat control, some community members used a virtual dimmer and mapped it to thermostat settings.

If you use harmony, you can create an activity that puts the volume up five times and then have echo run the activity.

But there’s no way to directly change echo commands to commands for other devices.

A virtual dimmer is probably your best starting point for any device that you have granular control of, for example if you were using a global cache to control IR devices.

Here’s the older thermostat example. This method is no longer needed since echo added native controlled thermostats. But the same principles would apply.