Homey Community Forum

[APP] Amazon - Alexa

Amazon Alexa

This is NOT the Athom Alexa Skill which allows Alexa to talk to Homey

With this app you can allow Homey to talk to Alexa, literally and figuratively.

Alexa Text to Speech, (60 other voices to do text to speech with), Alexa Announcements, Alexa Whisper Weather, News, Traffic, Good Morning/Night reports, Trigger Alexa routines, play music, play sounds, add alexa smart home devices to homey

Donate

Help me buy a homey to create this and other apps on.

Version 3

Version 3.0.1 is the release candidate for public availability. It has been submitted to Athom of certification and once tested will be released. Devices added prior to version 3 will need to be removed, however you will not have to alter/delete/add any version 3 devices again.

Is still missing some of the third party alexa devices which were available in version 1.7 - these will be added back soon.

Features

Servers

  • Amazon US server
  • Amazon EU server
  • Amazon Far East server

Devices

Echo

  • Echo Gen1
  • Echo Gen2
  • Echo Gen3
  • Echo Dot Gen1
  • Echo Dot Gen2
  • Echo Dot Gen3
  • Echo Plus Gen1
  • Echo Plus Gen2
  • Echo Spot Gen1
  • Echo Show Gen1
  • Echo Show Gen2

Fire

  • Fire Tablet HD10.7

Third Party

  • Ecobee
  • Sonos One
  • Sonos Beam
  • Netgear Orbi Voice

Smart Home

  • Add Alexa smart home plugs as devices to Homey
  • Add Alexa smart home lights as devices to Homey

Capabilities

Reports

  • Weather
  • Traffic
  • News
  • Stop

Media

  • Volume
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Previous/Next
  • Track
  • Artist
  • Album
  • Playing
  • Random
  • duration
  • repeat

Flows

Triggers

Account

  • When Account Connects
  • When Account Authorized
  • When Account Disconnects
  • When Account Unauthorized

Conditions

  • When you say {something} to alexa

Actions

Reports

  • Good Morning
  • Good Night
  • Weather
  • Traffic
  • News
  • Good News

Voice

  • Alexa Says {something}
  • Alexa Announces {something}
  • Alexa Whispers {something}
  • Simon Says {something} on Alexa Device * Homeys voice is “Brian”
  • Simon Announces {something} on Alexa Device
  • Simon Whispers {something} on Alexa Device * *Echo devices only
  • Choose from 60 other voices to say or whisper {something} *** Not all voices can whisper

Calendar

  • Alexa says todays calendar
  • Alexa says tomorrows calendar
  • Alexa say the next calendar entry

Fun

  • Alexa tell a story
  • Alexa sing a song
  • Alexa give a fun fact
  • Alexa say a joke
  • Alexa help clean up

Phrases

  • Alexa Confirm
  • Alexa Compliment
  • Alexa I’m Home
  • Alexa Goodbye
  • Alexa Birthday

Sounds

  • Play one of 29 sounds on an alexa device

Music

  • Play music from spotify based upon text sentence to an alexa device
  • Play music from amazon music based upon text sentence to an alexa device
  • Play music from I Heart Radio based upon text sentence to an alexa device
  • Play music from TuneIn based upon text sentence to an alexa device

DND

  • Turn on/off do not disturb mode

App Languages

  • English (AU)
  • Dutch (NL)
  • German (DE)

You can create a flow which can send ‘text’ to any Alexa enabled device and ‘she’ will then repeat that text, including any tags then there is a quite bit more that can be done.

Status

Latest State

Testing whether the app stays connected the alexa and TTS continues working with out app/homey restarts.

Supports

Notes

Please note that this app now only supports v4.

Fire TV (v2) is not supported based on current testing.

Currently only limited testing has been done upon ‘alexa mutli room music groups’ ie “everywhere” this may or may not be supported.

Using

  1. After installing, to add a new Device, click + (add) upon the devices tab select “Amazon Alexa Device”.
  2. Likely a popup will open asking for you to log into your amazon alexa account.
  3. You will receive a message stating its now ok to close the popup, and a loading screen will show.
  4. The loading screen may stay for up to a minute, but once completed your alexa devices will be shown.
  5. Click on which devices you would like to add to Homey.

Possible Uses

Possible Uses is hard as there is so much you could do with it. It is all about integrating Alexa into your smart home. (Rather than your smart home into alexa).

  • Anything from Create a flow so that any time homey speaks - it also gets said upon all echo devices, so the entire house can hear it.
  • Through to if it s a weekday before midday and your presence is detected in the bathroom, turn on the light and exhaust fan and play today weather on alexa.
  • After which if when the vibration sensor is triggered on the stairs, play todays news flash briefing.
  • When the contact sensor on the mail box is triggered create a reminder at 7pm that night to all devices “Please check the mail box”.
  • When owntracks presence tracks me leaving the office and its after 5pm and alexa Text to speech say ‘Jamie has left the office, with current traffic he will be home in 50 minutes’ , then play ride of the Valkyries on all devices.
  • When the bedroom light is turned off and everyone is in bed , if a perimeter window is not closed have Alexa announce through the spot alarm clock that the ‘house is not secure’.
  • When ever homey speaks, have the same voice repeated across all your amazon enabled devices
  • Control/Add devices to homey which may have an alexa skill but not a Homey app.

For me personally, I have only one Homey where has I have half a dozen alexa devices in most rooms and they can speak, let me know the traffic, weather, news, etc alarms or reminders, announcements or notices, whats on my calendar. And now I can have any of these features with in a flow.

Other

Otherwise everything else is as advertised in the post, hit me up on Slack (@jamie) if you have any questions or issues. Items show in this post (and only this post) are confirmed to work.

Bugs

  • When adding multiple Dot (gen3) the app errors ‘unable to add as device already exists’
  • Clicking stop when weather is being reported will not stop the weather on all devices. ie. Dot (gen2) - works for Echo Plus (gen1)
  • Fire HD10 (gen7) Issues :
    • Announcements are spoken, not announced.
    • Whispering does not work
    • Other voices are not spoken
  • When fist logging in, its been reported that some times the first attempt to add a device will fail.
  • Its been reported that when homey restarts the TTS (text to speech) may stop working int he app until the app is restarted. - I am unable to replicate this issue, if you can please contact me.
  • Its been reported that when homey looses its internet connection the TTS (text to speech) may stop working int he app until the app is restarted. - I am unable to replicate this issue, if you can please contact me.
  • Its been reported that if you have 2FA/MFA enabled alexa looses its connection every couple of days. - I am unable to replicate this issue, if you can please contact me.

Known Issues

  • Smart devices added to homey will not sync there state, ie. they not show whether they are on/off correctly. - Likely involves polling once every 5 minutes to sync
  • Media/Speaker capabilities will not work if a music group has been used with the speaker.
  • If you don’t select the correct server to connect to, many features will not work or will be delayed.

Images


19 Likes

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why doesn’t alexa voice work?

You are connected to the wrong ‘server’, you can go to the settings, disconnect and try one of the other servers (US,EU,AU). Just because you live in a geo location, doesn’t mean that where you first signed up your devices. (Originally only the US server existed).

Can I add a new alexa device?

Yes I can add new devices, but I will require first the assets and device information in order to add it.

  1. SVG of the new device in the same aesthetic as the other icons I have.
  2. An image of the device ideally 2000x2000px in the same aesthetic as the other images I have (white background etc).
  3. The name of the device, and its average power usage.
  4. The unique identifier of the device, I can normally find these out with some help and a diagnostic report.
  5. Someone to test each and every feature of the app upon new device and report back if any features do not work.

Will there be support for X?

See above

Whats next?

  • Support for newer amazon alexa devices. (Flex/Studio/etc).
  • More smart home device types, perhaps thermostat.
  • Poll Alexa for changes to a smart home device and Sync the ‘state’ with Homey.
  • Add a new condition for DND to the flows
  • Ability to trigger alexa scenes from with in a flow.
  • Investigate homey reset causing loss of TTS
  • Add Flow trigger, when alexa hears a specific set of words.
  • Arm/Disarm alexa guard.
  • Update the app to fully support other languages.
  • Make a better ’ you can close the browser’ page after sign in.
  • Maybe nothing.

Can you add feature X or Y

Long Answer : If you cant do it through the alexa website alexa.amazon.com or worse case the alexa phone app. Then no I can not add it. If you can do it through the app, check out whether its in “whats next” list above. If its not, the I doubt it, but you can ask.

Short Answer : I Doubt it.

Why don’t my routines show in the flow action

For a routine to show, it must be given a name with in the alexa app.

Why does the app stop working?

There could be a couple of reasons for this, the most common is that you have set homey to restart nightly/weekly and this is causing the app to not reconnect.

2 Likes

Interesting to say the least. :grin:

Are we there yet? :stuck_out_tongue:

Haha oh wow, that must have been creepy :joy:

No so much for me, as I understood the message immediately and what was going on, my wife no so much :stuck_out_tongue:

Im still trying to figure out what caused the delay, (delay makes it a pretty useless app). Ill let you know.

1 Like

If you need any help with testing/TS or similar, I’m game.
I don’t mind getting the random/delayed response while getting things right. :grin:

1 Like

By the way,

This skill is maybe a better option ?

It’s a bridge between the notification api and user input

1 Like

I think what I am doing at the moment is a better solution, but thank you for the link - it also said this

And there’s one more thing you should know. Regardless of what smart home device you use as a trigger event, Amazon limits the Notification API: Trigger events can only create notifications up to five times in a five minute period. After that, Amazon puts you in a bit of a time-out.

Which explains some things.

Or use Node RED: https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-alexa-local?

That (node RED) app only replicates the current behavior we already have …

To be honest, I didn’t looked at it thoroughly. But thought I read somewhere you could use your own texts & of course trigger Homey flows via mqtt (i.s.o devices known by Alexa). But maybe I’m wrong or it was another Node red extension.

How’s it going Jamie?
Extremely eager to hear. :grin:

I pushed at an update to the beta channel of “group” which took a little longer than anticipated, back on this project now. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Cookie, Device, Text to speech all working, below you can see the work in progress… Ill update with some more images later - but right now It Australia day and I need to get my Aussie On.

Thanks





2 Likes

FANTASTIC!
Where do I donate?!

1 Like

Wow @Jamie!!!

Can you give me examples how this app would work?

Can I use then my dots for speech output? And what else can we do?

I will donate as soon as possible!
Thank you

Hmm Examples, it a hard one because there is so much you could do with it. It is all about integrating Alexa into your smart home. (Rather than your smart home into alexa).

  • Anything from Create a flow so that any time homey speaks - it also gets said upon all echo devices, so the entire house can hear it.

  • through to if it s a weekday before midday and your presence is detected in the bathroom, turn on the light and exhaust fan and play today weather on alexa.

  • After which if when the vibration sensor is triggered on the stairs, play todays news flash briefing.

  • When the contact sensor on the mail box is triggered create a reminder at 7pm that night to all devices “Please check the mail box”.

  • When owntracks presence tracks me leaving the office and its after 5pm and alexa Text to speech say ‘Jamie has left the office, with current traffic he will be home in 50 minutes’ , then play ride of the Valkyries on all devices.

  • When the bedroom light is turned off and everyone is in bed , if a perimeter window is not closed have alexa announce through the spot alarm clock that the ‘house is not secure’.

For me personally, I have only one Homey where has I have half a dozen alexa devices in most rooms and they can speak, let me know the traffic, weather, news, etc alarms or reminders, announcements or notices, whats on my calendar. And now I can have any of these features with in a flow.

6 Likes

Wow! A dream comes true. Yes that is also my setting: one homey and 6 echos.

So that will be the non plus ultra! And all Google Assistant User will be sad.

Really curious about the tease of your app then!

And please set a donation button then.

Marvellous!
When will you publish it, and once again - where do I donate for this “must have”-app? :grin:

1 Like