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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2017, 09:35 AM
dchramcow dchramcow is offline
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Looking for a way to eliminate "tell homeseer to.." and Alexa's confirmation

Hello guys,

So I just got an Echo dot a couple of days ago, the Alexa HomeSeer skill is very impressive, it worked almost immediately.

But I was wondering if there's a way to eliminate the need of using "tell homeseer to..." and also the confirmation by Alexa afterwards. That would be much more convenient/efficient.

I'm using it mainly to run Events, not individual devices.

I would like to say:

"Alexa, run the OPEN OFFICE event" without any confirmation from Alexa.

Instead of: "Alexa, tell homeseer to run the OPEN OFFICE event" and then replying Yes to Alexa's confirmation.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old September 27th, 2017, 10:36 AM
BillBurn BillBurn is offline
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You can control devices via Alexa without having to say the "tell homeseer to ..." preface. So to control your event you could probably create a virtual device named "Office" and just say "alexa, open the office" (you might have to say "turn on the office") and set up an event that fires off when the status of the "office" virtual device changes.

This way of controlling homeseer via Alexa also eliminates the confirmation. Alexa just responds "OK"
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2017, 11:49 AM
concordseer concordseer is offline
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You create a virtual device for each event. My virtual device has the same name as my event. I just run Echo Discovery and all my virtual devices/events are discovered and ready to use.
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  #4  
Old September 27th, 2017, 11:56 AM
dchramcow dchramcow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBurn View Post
You can control devices via Alexa without having to say the "tell homeseer to ..." preface. So to control your event you could probably create a virtual device named "Office" and just say "alexa, open the office" (you might have to say "turn on the office") and set up an event that fires off when the status of the "office" virtual device changes.

This way of controlling homeseer via Alexa also eliminates the confirmation. Alexa just responds "OK"
Thanks for the help Mr. Bill! Unfortunately Alexa is not executing my commands using this method.

Here's what I did:

Created a virtual device named "Office" (Floor: Oficina, Room: Area General).



Config Tab:



Status Graphics Tab:



Event triggering:



I have tried with:

* Alexa, open the Office"
* Alexa, open Office"
* Alexa, turn on the Office"
* Alexa, turn on Office"

But no dice!, what am I doing wrong?

Thanks again for your help.
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  #5  
Old September 27th, 2017, 12:13 PM
BillBurn BillBurn is offline
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I think this may be an issue with Alexa.

Open the Alexa App and select "Smart Home" from the Menu. Then click Devices and make sure that your new virtual device is in the list of devices. If not, got to bottom of the device list and hit the "Discover" button. This should discover your new device.

Once your virtual device is listed in the Alexa App's Devices list you should be able to control it without a problem.

Also, what version of Homeseer software are you using? It should be at least 3.0.0.312. I would install the latest version (3.0.0.368) if you don't have it as there have been a bunch of updates to support Alexa and other improvements.

One more question, when you say "alexa, turn on the office" what does Alexa respond?
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  #6  
Old September 27th, 2017, 12:23 PM
concordseer concordseer is offline
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Your virtual device name is Office so your event should read

If this changes and becomes
Office changes and becomes off
Then run your event

Dont forget to discover your newly created device with Amazon Echo first.
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  #7  
Old September 27th, 2017, 12:42 PM
lj502 lj502 is offline
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Quick thing, your event is waiting for the office to turn off but you are asking to turn it on, hopefully its that simple
John
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  #8  
Old September 27th, 2017, 12:51 PM
lj502 lj502 is offline
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This is how I handle most events with Alexa, I found this from other posts so I don't take credit for it but it works nicely.
First thing is to make your virtual device that you use to control an event has another state, or device value, I use mid and a value of 50. This is to be able to ask Alexa to turn off or on the device and have the state return to mid so Alexa doesn't care about the state of on or off and will fire every time you ask.
Ill show an event next

John
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  #9  
Old September 27th, 2017, 01:08 PM
lj502 lj502 is offline
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Now to use those devices with Alexa I create events that use the (if device had value set) to run them with either on or off commands to Alexa. If I say "Alexa turn on bathroom tv" then the event "Master Bath Source 1 Firetv" is ran if I say "Alexa turn bathroom tv off" then the event " Master Bath Off" is ran. The key to all this is to have your event return the virtual device back to the "mid" state each time. I also set other states in those events so some things don't need to happen or can happen faster, if amp is already on the save 2 seconds and go straight to the source change, things like that.
Hope this make sense

John
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  #10  
Old September 28th, 2017, 10:17 AM
dchramcow dchramcow is offline
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I really appreciate all the help guys. I really do.

So to recap:

After running the discover devices command, Alexa started seeing my new Virtual Device instantly, and after that it started working perfectly.

All I have to say now is "Alexa, turn on the Office", and she just replies with a "Ok". Much better than before.

Thanks again!
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  #11  
Old October 14th, 2017, 04:29 PM
norcalhkr's Avatar
norcalhkr norcalhkr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lj502 View Post
Now to use those devices with Alexa I create events that use the (if device had value set) to run them with either on or off commands to Alexa. If I say "Alexa turn on bathroom tv" then the event "Master Bath Source 1 Firetv" is ran if I say "Alexa turn bathroom tv off" then the event " Master Bath Off" is ran. The key to all this is to have your event return the virtual device back to the "mid" state each time. I also set other states in those events so some things don't need to happen or can happen faster, if amp is already on the save 2 seconds and go straight to the source change, things like that.
Hope this make sense

John
Super helpful, thanks for sharing. I had been using half of this equation on homeseer switches with scenes when tapped 2 or 3 times, tweaked those using the mid setting and now I can use the switch or Alexa to turn on and off.
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  #12  
Old October 21st, 2017, 09:28 AM
sleeve sleeve is offline
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Some Echo-mandated virtual device bloat will likely go away this month when Amazon releases Routines, their next step toward slurping up the HA market. Group some devices like you can now, but add that you can put a Dot in that group, say "Alexa, lights on," and it knows which lights based on which Dot heard the command.

Routines won't require device names. "Alexa, lower the globe!" -> TV turns on, AC drops 2 degrees, lights turn on dimmed, FireTV starts Austin Powers.

Now that Echo has voice recognition, Routines will eventually be occupant aware. "Alexa, I'm home." -> my Things happen, not my wife's.

So this almost kills scene controllers and Minimotes. If routine and scene creation within the Alexa app can set dim levels per scene member, Echo devices will duplicate and exceed these unitaskers.

Bummer they chose ZigBee for the Plus, though.
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  #13  
Old November 30th, 2017, 09:13 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lj502 View Post
First thing is to make your virtual device that you use to control an event has another state, or device value, I use mid and a value of 50.
John
This idea worked great! I called the mid level status "ready" and assigned it the green check mark icon. It looks good and makes sense.
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