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  • Command without "Ask HomeSeer"

    To trigger a HomeSeer event I have to say "Alexa, tell HomeSeer". Apparently, it's possible to circumvent that. For instance, I read that IFTTT applets can be started by simply saying "Alexa, trigger". Can this be done with HomeSeer? For instance I would like to just say "Alexa, start" and it will trigger whatever HS event I speak afterwards. I don't want to go through IFTTT because the delays are unacceptable plus I want to avoid another piece of software that can break/delay things.

  • #2
    It's a bit cumbersome but this can be done with Alexa routines using custom wording. You'll need a separate routine for each HS event you want to trigger.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
    -Wade

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    • #3
      cc4005, thanks for the response. Routines seem to allow exactly what I want. I haven't quite figured out how to trigger a HS event, though. For the Alexa action the only applicable option seems to be "Smart Home" from which I can chose "Control device" or "Control scene". Neither of them give me access to my HS events. I guess I could create a virtual HS device and then have that trigger the event. Is there a better way to do this?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mulu View Post
        To trigger a HomeSeer event I have to say "Alexa, tell HomeSeer". Apparently, it's possible to circumvent that. For instance, I read that IFTTT applets can be started by simply saying "Alexa, trigger". Can this be done with HomeSeer? For instance I would like to just say "Alexa, start" and it will trigger whatever HS event I speak afterwards. I don't want to go through IFTTT because the delays are unacceptable plus I want to avoid another piece of software that can break/delay things.
        I have many IFTTT applets that work well for triggering Homeseer events. I have to say "Alexa, trigger [Homeseer event]." What is in brackets is the "Voice Command:" created and saved within the event that you want to trigger.
        If you need more specifics, let me know.
        Elliott

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mulu View Post
          cc4005, thanks for the response. Routines seem to allow exactly what I want. I haven't quite figured out how to trigger a HS event, though. For the Alexa action the only applicable option seems to be "Smart Home" from which I can chose "Control device" or "Control scene". Neither of them give me access to my HS events. I guess I could create a virtual HS device and then have that trigger the event. Is there a better way to do this?
          I use virtual devices but I believe your events should show up as scenes when set up like Richel mentions in the prior post.

          Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
          -Wade

          Comment


          • #6
            Seconding Richel's use of IFTTT/Alexa/HomeSeer!

            You need to link to two services, Amazon Alexa and Homeseer.

            For basic event triggering, there are a few published applets to learn from. But I have found it dead easy to just make my own. (Folks, if you haven't tried to create your own applet, do so!)

            The services (Echo and Homeseer) provide "If's" and "Then's". It's about as simple as selecting Amazon Alexa as an "If"...If Alexa hears the phrase "turn on evening lights" and then select Homeseer as a "Then"... Run a Homeseer event "Nightime Lights" (Selected from a pulldown of your own events).

            That's really about all there is to it. Just start saying "Alexa, trigger turn on evening lights"..and Voila!

            Pair it with an "off" applet and event is sensible as well.

            You can do slightly more complex applets almost as easy. I have an applet which sends a notification to my phone when the alarm system is armed or disarmed.

            In this case, I created a virtual device which is set on/off when the alarm is armed/disarmed.

            Homeseer is the "If" in this case. You can create an applet which when the device is set "On", sends a phone notification (Which is a standard "Then" on IFTTT) stating "Alarm armed at 'date/time'". And did the reverse for the "Off".

            Invest an hour on a Sunday morning with a Bloody Mary to play and "get" how this works. No "Coding", just clicking through a pretty easy guided process.

            IFTTT has not done a good job of promoting creating your own applets. Most people look at it as "Something for developers and coders" and never look beyond what has been "published". You have to get at this by clicking the arrow under your name on IFTTT. But there is real power there for us Techie but not programmer types! Oh, and the applets you create are private to you as well!

            Jim

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JMarias View Post
              Seconding Richel's use of IFTTT/Alexa/HomeSeer!

              You need to link to two services, Amazon Alexa and Homeseer.

              For basic event triggering, there are a few published applets to learn from. But I have found it dead easy to just make my own. (Folks, if you haven't tried to create your own applet, do so!)

              The services (Echo and Homeseer) provide "If's" and "Then's". It's about as simple as selecting Amazon Alexa as an "If"...If Alexa hears the phrase "turn on evening lights" and then select Homeseer as a "Then"... Run a Homeseer event "Nightime Lights" (Selected from a pulldown of your own events).

              That's really about all there is to it. Just start saying "Alexa, trigger turn on evening lights"..and Voila!

              Pair it with an "off" applet and event is sensible as well.

              You can do slightly more complex applets almost as easy. I have an applet which sends a notification to my phone when the alarm system is armed or disarmed.

              In this case, I created a virtual device which is set on/off when the alarm is armed/disarmed.

              Homeseer is the "If" in this case. You can create an applet which when the device is set "On", sends a phone notification (Which is a standard "Then" on IFTTT) stating "Alarm armed at 'date/time'". And did the reverse for the "Off".

              Invest an hour on a Sunday morning with a Bloody Mary to play and "get" how this works. No "Coding", just clicking through a pretty easy guided process.

              IFTTT has not done a good job of promoting creating your own applets. Most people look at it as "Something for developers and coders" and never look beyond what has been "published". You have to get at this by clicking the arrow under your name on IFTTT. But there is real power there for us Techie but not programmer types! Oh, and the applets you create are private to you as well!

              Jim
              I'm sure this works well but I do the same thing using only Alexa (routines) and Homeseer. The text message part probably does require another component such as IFTTT though.

              Do you have any noticeable delay when using IFTTT? I tried it for another application a while back and the 2-3 second delays made it frustrating.
              -Wade

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cc4005 View Post
                I'm sure this works well but I do the same thing using only Alexa (routines) and Homeseer. The text message part probably does require another component such as IFTTT though.

                Do you have any noticeable delay when using IFTTT? I tried it for another application a while back and the 2-3 second delays made it frustrating.
                I've not had concerning delays. Choice of words deliberate. Probably because I get an Alexa acknowledgment and know it is in the works. Maybe I am a bit forgiving with the understanding of the linked services. But I get your question. For example, one of my triggers begins with "Alexa, trigger open jim's door". This is intended to open my garage door when I am ready to leave the house.

                The implications of this are...
                1. Alexa has to hear and interpret my command
                2. Pass it on to IFTTT because I use the word "Trigger"
                3. IFTTT has to interpret that as belonging to me, look up the applet, and send a command to Homeseer to trigger the event.
                4. Homeseer has to receive the message and trigger the event "Open Door 1"
                5. That event then has to communicate with the HomeSeer MyQ plugin to send an "Open" command
                6. The plugin then has to communicate with the Liftmaster service to send a command to my garage door to open through its web services
                7. Liftmaster then has to send the command to the door hardware to trigger the actual "open" command"
                8. The door hardware then has to trigger and actually open!

                The fact that this works at all is pretty stupendous. That it works, probably 98% of the time, in the few steps from my kitchen to the garage is very workable to me! In the few cases it doesn't, I can always hit the button as normal.

                An extreme example, I think. But I think it works very well in my morning routine. I have noticed a 2 to 3 second impact as you mentioned in making this work. Much simpler command such as turning on lights are within a second or two at worst case. Mostly it just works.

                When you consider all the above hops, delays/failures can and will occur as there is so much going on. While I would love to have all of this to exist within my local network ecosystem, it just isn't there in the current paradigm. From a lifestyle/WAF perspective, it does work most of the time at an acceptable level.

                Still early days in this cloud/API/web services/security/omnipresence environment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, IFTTT is indeed simple but from my first experience totally useless. I used it with my SkyBell. Motion triggers reach HS some 2-30 MINUTES late. Button presses don't come through at all. IFTTT is blaming SkyBell and SkyBell is blaming IFTTT. I then tried using a current sensor combined with an Arduino thinking I can detect button presses. It turns out there is always a current flowing which kind of makes sense because the doorbell needs power all the time. At the end I used stringify and that one only has delays of 2-3 seconds for button presses. So IFTTT is out for me and I really don't want to have another component.


                  cc4005, so what I did now is setting up a routine which allows me to use much more 'natural' commands. I then had to create a virtual HS device so I can control it through Alexa. In addition, I created an event that triggers when this virtual device turns on. The event is then doing whatever I want and at the end turns off the virtual device (for many scenes I don't want a turn off scene command but just on, so I need to reset it). I wish I wouldn't have to setup a virtual device and instead Alexa can see my events. However, it's much better than having to involve IFTTT. If you have any better solution then please let me know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mulu View Post
                    cc4005, so what I did now is setting up a routine which allows me to use much more 'natural' commands. I then had to create a virtual HS device so I can control it through Alexa. In addition, I created an event that triggers when this virtual device turns on. The event is then doing whatever I want and at the end turns off the virtual device (for many scenes I don't want a turn off scene command but just on, so I need to reset it). I wish I wouldn't have to setup a virtual device and instead Alexa can see my events. However, it's much better than having to involve IFTTT. If you have any better solution then please let me know.
                    Well, that's exactly how I have my system set up. +/- 20 virtual devices and almost double that many Alexa routines so I can use custom language for both on and off--or whatever I'm trying to accomplish.

                    This said, another option is to eliminate the virtual switch by directly calling an HS3 event via Alexa. In the event, set a Voice Command (directly below the Event Name) and under Options, tick "Include as Voice Command". Then the Alexa app will discover the Event as an Alexa Scene and it can be assigned as an action in an Alexa routine. I've only briefly experimented with doing it that way, but it worked in my trial and I've read of other people doing it.
                    -Wade

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JMarias View Post
                      1. Alexa has to hear and interpret my command
                      2. Pass it on to IFTTT because I use the word "Trigger"
                      3. IFTTT has to interpret that as belonging to me, look up the applet, and send a command to Homeseer to trigger the event.
                      4. Homeseer has to receive the message and trigger the event "Open Door 1"
                      5. That event then has to communicate with the HomeSeer MyQ plugin to send an "Open" command
                      6. The plugin then has to communicate with the Liftmaster service to send a command to my garage door to open through its web services
                      7. Liftmaster then has to send the command to the door hardware to trigger the actual "open" command"
                      8. The door hardware then has to trigger and actually open!
                      If I've learned anything in my relatively brief experience with HS, it's that there are multiple ways to skin almost every cat. That said, it's not clear to me why you'd want to insert IFTTT in this scenario. Why not this?

                      1. Alexa has to hear and interpret my command ("Alexa, [any choice of words]")
                      2. Pass it on to HS3
                      3. -
                      4. Homeseer has to receive the message and trigger the event "Open Door 1"
                      5. That event then has to communicate with the HomeSeer MyQ plugin to send an "Open" command
                      6. The plugin then has to communicate with the Liftmaster service to send a command to my garage door to open through its web services
                      7. Liftmaster then has to send the command to the door hardware to trigger the actual "open" command"
                      8. The door hardware then has to trigger and actually open!
                      -Wade

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        c4005, thanks for that input. I entered some text in voice command in my HS event. After adding that text my event is showing up in Alexa under scenes (it didn't show up when "Voice Command" was empty). So this is EXACTLY what I wanted. I don't even need a virtual device anymore. What confused me is the term "voice command" in HS. I thought it's some actual voice command but at least for Alexa it's just a name to identify the scene. Well, maybe it's much more (like Alexa sending some text, there is some TTS and then HS converts the speech back to text to identify the command). I still don't quite understand what this Voice Command is for. It's not that HS allows for some microphone input, at least not as far as I know.


                        Anyways, as I said, this is EXACTLY what I wanted, i.e.
                        1) Define an event in HS
                        2) In the event enter something for "Voice Command" so it shows up as a scene in Alexa
                        3) Go to the Alexa app on your mobile device, in the menu select Smart Home, go to the tab Scenes, click on the + sign to scan for new scenes. The scene you created in 2) should now show up.
                        4) Go to the menu and select Routines. Click on the + sign to add a new routine. Click on the + sign next to "When this happens". Enter the sentence you want to use after Alex, e.g. "Movie Time" to activate with "Alexa, Movie Time" (don't use something very common or Alexa might be confused. For Dinner Time it asked me if I wanted to hear the song Dinner Time). Then click on the + sign next to "Add action". Go to Smart Home, Control scene and select your HS event.


                        C4005, THANKS AGAIN!!! From my limited trials it works perfectly. Response time is less than a second. Pretty much instantaneously. And there is no dependency on some other service like IFTTT. HS should have a quick tutorial about this. Control via voice is so much more convenient than using a device. Controlling over a device is really more for guests who don't know the commands, the room/device names, etc.

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                        • #13
                          Glad to hear it's working the way you want it to.


                          Originally posted by mulu View Post
                          It's not that HS allows for some microphone input, at least not as far as I know.
                          Actually, it does.
                          https://www.homeseer.com/support/hom...ecognition.htm


                          Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
                          -Wade

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            cc - what is the microphone/voice input for this and where do you define it?
                            I'll have to wait till I am back home to include a post with the actual error screen, but I've had an error box pop-up since day one that I just shove aside, as the HS platform HT6 boots up, HSV displays an error window about the sound.

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                            • #15
                              I actually recall this site but it didn't quite make much sense to me. I mean, who would go to their PC to speak into a mic for HS to do something. After some more googling, this post gives some clarification:

                              https://forums.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=191401

                              In short, it appears that the voice commands aren't really for speaking to HS like you speak to Alexa. Instead, it gives you an alternative way to address devices when talking to a service like Alexa, i.e. you don't have to be specific about a device (floor/location/device). I am already using this with one of the Alexa Skills so at least for me it appears that voice command don't add anything. What is really confusing is that on Alexa there are 3 HS skills. I have 2 of them but I don't know how the 3 versions differ.

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