Amazon Alexa adds custom actions

Amazon has finally added custom actions to their routines. For anyone with an Alexa account, this will allow us to trigger a virtual switch that turns on a virtual motion sensor with this code, and then have Alexa silently do anything we would verbally ask it to do.

This is like Google Assistant Relay without the need for a node.js server, the relatively involved setup or any specific drivers beyond this simple Virtual motion with Switch code that @ogiewon provided to the community (in addition to the GAR driver that I’m still using).

Probably going to shut down Google Assistant Relay now if this proves to be just as effective. I don’t think I own a single device that is Google Assistant only.

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Yes this is awesome - @tonesto7 mentioned this awhile back. Is talking about adding into echo speaks.

I am hoping to be able to parse alexa responses for use with remote start on my car.

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I was excited to see it because I could use a motion sensor near my Echo Show to open a Hubitat dashboard in Firefox. Unfortunately if music is playing, the motion stopped the music to open dashboard and my great idea was crushed.

I’ve been so busy that I totally missed this one. One of the contributors at the DMZ just posted on Twitter about it and I did a double take.

This is what I’ve waiting for with the Alexa platform. Very nice addition.

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Not in UK as yet, but trying to think of a use case for this :thinking:

That’s disappointing. Wonder if they’ll be able to resolve that problem.

Control anything that “Works with Alexa” but doesn’t work with Hubitat.

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You should be able to arm/disarm Alexa Guard without Echo Speaks with this method using the appropriate voice commands. Currently, I think only Arm is available in a routine unless something has changed there.

Just tested this out. It works and is super cool! One limitation: It seems like you can't trigger Alexa routines from a virtual switch. But you can trigger them from a virtual motion sensor. So I had to share a virtual motion sensor from Hubitat, and change its state from RM to trigger the Alexa routine.

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Now I need to figure out how to access in Node Red using alexa2 palette or another.

Maybe I misunderstand you. Guard doesn’t need any special setup.

“Alexa, Guard”

“Alexa, Stop guarding”

Only thing it doesn’t do is disable my Ring alarm, but it does enable it when I ask it to guard. If I really wanted to control disarm by voice, which I don’t, then I would do it with the Ring integration I have configured.

Use the code I posted above. It converts a virtual switch to a virtual motion sensor

But you have to actually say "I'm home" to disarm. I haven't found a way to do this other than Echo Speaks and now using the Custom Command.

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I understand now. Well that’s a bonus for those that want that if it works :+1:t2:

This is what I am struggling with, as we already have this using NR don't we?

For example, I have Nest, and here in the UK we have the 3rd gen which controls hot water too.
Nest haven't seen fit to allow this API, but Homebridge has been able to manage it. So now I have this in Alexa too. So I use NR to "boost the hot water" via Alexa, and bingo, the hot water is boosted :slight_smile:

So I guess this sounds the same, but without having to use NR?

Right. You are a power user and for you it's fairly simple. Think of all the casual users that can copy and paste a few lines of code (i.e. The Virtual Switch to Motion by @ogiewon that I posted) and know how to make an Alexa Routine. With this, they don't have to run other computers in their homes and don't have to learn any different setups or systems they don't really want to.

Many have been asking for the ability to control the inexpensive Alexa enabled WiFi devices they own or are thinking of buying, but without Google compatibility and a lot of extra parts and setup. This was previously not possible, and now it is. Yeah, most of those WiFi devices are still cloud based garbage and I don't personally recommend them for numerous reasons, but to at least have the option to make bad choices is nice :upside_down_face:

What's better about this than a driver for many of the junk WiFi devices is, this won't affect the hub performance at all. But it's not just inexpensive WiFi only devices, it's the expensive ones too. Right now I'm controlling my Delta VoiceIQ faucet with Google Assistant Relay, but if this isn't a burden for me (such as pausing my music like @stephen_nutt pointed out), then I may just switch it to Alexa custom commands instead of the current method where I have to create an Alexa Routine, to trigger a virtual switch that then sends the command via GAR. That's a real pain to setup new custom routines when I want a custom water volume request. This would dramatically simplify that.

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I'm not knocking it at all, I think its great :smiley: And a great improvement. I also think its great for those who don't use NR and can get the same, like you say, with ease of setting up. I was just trying to understand what it could do, that's all :+1:

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I know you're not and didn't think you were either. All good. It's a triumph for the casual users that just want to use WiFi stuff. :v:

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Good :slight_smile:

This would be a perfect way to bring my B&G electrical sockets into play, damned WiFi (great and cheap over here :wink: ) Not to mention giving extra functionality to my Bose speakers too!! Now we just got to wait for them to bring out over here, never quick for us :cry:

Yep. There's a reason my Echo is attached to my Amazon.com account and not my Amazon.ca account :grinning:

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