Echo Dot Used Just For Speech

I have read many of the posts on using the echo but many require more install than I am familiar with, as in servers for instance.
Is there not a simple way to setup and use the echo like the mini?

The answer you are looking for is "no." If that's all you want, feel free to stop reading. :slight_smile:

The reason is that Amazon doesn't provide any official API for this. In fact, nothing besides the Echo's built-in features like reminders and alarms is supposed to be able to makes the device do anything except by user initiation (e.g., opening a skill or otherwise telling it to do something). The older--and still usable--workaround for things like this are the Ask Alexa SmartApp on ST (possible someone has ported it here) and others.

Recently, people have figured out how to do get an Alexa device to do this unofficially. The results of this reverse-engineering gave us apps like Alexa TTS Manager. The full answer to your question is that it's possible but takes a bit of work, and it's subject to break if Amazon changes anything (and it's a bit of work to get/keep your cookie current, but that can be automated too, also with some work). Your "server" can just be a Raspberry Pi or any always-on PC with the OS of your choice--but you wouldonly need this to automate the cookie. Refreshing it manually isn't fun but is possible with just a web browser. In any case, it's nothing like the Chromecast integration (also beta) where Hubitat can do everything for you.

Echo Speaks is the go to solution these days.

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Actually the answer is yes... but...

Other systems have incorporated the Alexa Sensor API into their Alexa skills. What this means is that you can present any device to Alexa as a sensor either contact or motion. With this you can then add that sensor to an Alexa routine and have the echo device of your choice "Speak Something"... of your choosing.

I do this today with my ISY for any device or virtual device or variable.

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I must have missed the memo where, as a Hubitat society, everyone decided to move to that instead. :laughing: I guess one difference is that Echo Speaks takes care of anything "server-y" with Heroku for you--not sure if that's the cookie portion or if it works another way entirely, like an entire cloud-to-cloud interface for all aspects of the TTS. In any case, I'm using Alexa TTS Manager, and it's still working fine for me. The setup on that one does look a bit easier, though either requires knowledge of how to add custom code to Hubitat (which Echo Speaks assumes you know how to translate concepts from ST to Hubitat to do).

True, if the original poster only mean speaking something pre-defined as the result of some event (either an actual sensor or a virtual sensor you can cause to "trip" when you want it to, say for something it wouldn't support natively). To be honest, this would cover most of what I use it for. In fact, I used to do something like this by putting some of my Hubitat sensors on SmartThings via Other Hub (or HubConnect which is now an option)--their skill does support these. A bit easier, though less flexible.

For arbitrary TTS, you'll still need something like the above.

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@bertabcd1234 @bptworld @jeubanks Thanks guys, these devices are not nearly as easy as the mini's are to use. I will continue to pursue.

As a recent convert from SmartThings, this is what I'm doing at the moment. Since the Hubitat Alexa skill does not yet support contact sensors, I am having to use IFTTT and SmartThings in the middle. I look forward to not having to do that.

This is how I do it as well. It does require the โ€œserverโ€ component, but Iโ€™m using Google Assistant Relay to trigger SmartThings. That is an amazingly useful application/driver, so itโ€™s not a big deal, as it serves so many purposes for me and just generally opens up a lot of integrations that wouldnโ€™t otherwise be possible or as simple.

Alexa TTS via Google Assistant to SmartThings