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HomeSeer Amazon Echo Connected Home API Discussions related to the Amazon Echo native support for connected home products

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  #1  
Old May 13th, 2017, 05:44 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Is there any way to tell HS to not send Location 1 to the Echo?

So I have my locations set up like the following:

Location 1 - Device classification
Location 2 - Room

When I add devices to the echo it adds both locations. I only want it to send the second one.

For instance, for my Master Bedroom Table Fan, it sends Master Bedrooom Appliances for the room. I don't want the latter part and it's the ONLY device named table fan. I know I can just say table fan, but when I get to the "Ceiling fans", I am using the ISY plugin and using the actual Scenes to turn them on/off (to keep buttons in sync), so I don't want to have to say "Alexa, turn the Master Bedroom ISY Scene Ceiling Fan On". I just want to say "Alexa, turn the master bedroom ceiling fan on"
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Frank
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  #2  
Old May 15th, 2017, 10:05 AM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Just bumping this up.

I thought I might have 2 "Table lamp" devices in homeseer, but I double checked and I definitely don't. However, even if I did, it would be nice if I could just send the Location 2 name to the Echo for devices. Maybe HST could add a setting for this?

This basically is making the Echo connected Home API worthless for me for a lot of my devices.
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  #3  
Old May 15th, 2017, 10:39 AM
zwolfpack zwolfpack is online now
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I have
Location1 - Room
Location2 - Category

Seems to work fairly well.
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  #4  
Old May 15th, 2017, 12:28 PM
naellis naellis is offline
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I decided to use Location 1 = Room and Location 2 = Floor

Voice controlled devices then only use Location 1 and the device name

such as
Alexa, Kitchen Lights On/Off
Alexa, Dim Kitchen Lights to 50
Alexa, Patio Lights On/Off

Never had a problem.
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  #5  
Old May 15th, 2017, 02:01 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Well for some reason it adds mine as:

Master bedroom Appliances Table Fan

or just


Table Fan.

The first makes no sense to try and say.
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  #6  
Old May 15th, 2017, 05:17 PM
DevinH DevinH is offline
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I've had too many issues trying to get the names how I want when using the echo that I gave up on the homeseer alexa api and wrote my own. I really wish the homeseer folks would just include an additional 'voice name' input field with each device. If you have something entered in that field, it would use it. Otherwise it would use the normal method of deriving the name.
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  #7  
Old May 15th, 2017, 05:31 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevinH View Post
I've had too many issues trying to get the names how I want when using the echo that I gave up on the homeseer alexa api and wrote my own. I really wish the homeseer folks would just include an additional 'voice name' input field with each device. If you have something entered in that field, it would use it. Otherwise it would use the normal method of deriving the name.
I have no problem using the Skill, but are you saying you wrote your own Connected Home API for Homeseer (so you don't have the need to say "Ask homeseer")?

I have the skill so I can say "Alexa, ask the house to....", but I was trying to put some of the more common devices on the API so we can say things like "Alexa, turn on the Kitchen Ceiling Fan", but it keeps adding the Location 1 to my devices which means I can either say "Ceiling Fan", which I Have a lot of, or "Kitchen [location 1] Ceiling fan".

If you did create your own Connected Home API, please share how you did it
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  #8  
Old May 26th, 2017, 04:22 AM
Duomi8 Duomi8 is offline
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Location Sensitive Voice Control

I have recently enabled multiple echos to control devices without using a location, by making use of the 'ha-bridge'

https://github.com/bwssytems/ha-brid...HA-Bridge-FAQs

The name of the device can be anything you choose, and the IP address can be entered to enable filtering the same verbal request from multiple echos, to switch on different devices

'Echo switch on the lights' switches on different devices depending on which room it is spoken.

On a related note the reality is that Echo can get confused with very simple words, including the word 'lights'. Slightly more complex words are better eg with 2+ sylables.
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  #9  
Old May 26th, 2017, 05:17 AM
naellis naellis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duomi8 View Post
The name of the device can be anything you choose, and the IP address can be entered to enable filtering the same verbal request from multiple echos, to switch on different devices.
I have been trying to find a simple way to use each echo device location to control HS devices for that room without having to state the location in the command, so I am very interested in your approach. I used HA-Bridge before the Homeseer skill allowed HS on/off/dim device discovery here in the UK but I never tried IP filtering, I will now. I have 7 echo/dot in main rooms and their ability to decide which to act on a command works very well indeed. How reliable are you finding your solution ?
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  #10  
Old May 26th, 2017, 06:02 AM
Duomi8 Duomi8 is offline
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Interesting to hear about your 7 echos

Until recently I have viewed the Echo as the 'icing on the cake' rather than a serious method of controlling the house. I have 3 echos on the 1st floor with only 2 plugged in at the moment, one of them controlling 7 devices in a new bathroom (lights, fan, ceiling speaker, underfloor heating).

HA-bridge appears to be reliable in itself (running on Linux), using the Alexa Groupings to fire multiple URL commands in my experience is quicker than running a single HS event to control a group of 4 lights.

HA-bridge IP address filtering was introduced quite recently, and of course requires fixed IP addresses for the Echos and strong Wifi all over.

Regarding performance there are a number of factors of course but assuming strong wifi & a stable homeseer, the HA-bridge & HS combination is the way I will be going for the rest of the house.

Worth testing the principle with 2 echos first )

Regarding giving static IP addresses for Echos, it is possible from Amazon settings but after some experimentation (& discussion with Amazon) realised it was easier to go with doing this from the router, even though the Virgin hub forgets the DCHP reservation settings on reboot... another story...
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  #11  
Old May 26th, 2017, 07:56 AM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duomi8 View Post
I have recently enabled multiple echos to control devices without using a location, by making use of the 'ha-bridge'

https://github.com/bwssytems/ha-brid...HA-Bridge-FAQs

The name of the device can be anything you choose, and the IP address can be entered to enable filtering the same verbal request from multiple echos, to switch on different devices

'Echo switch on the lights' switches on different devices depending on which room it is spoken.

On a related note the reality is that Echo can get confused with very simple words, including the word 'lights'. Slightly more complex words are better eg with 2+ sylables.
I've tried the bridge, but I think my original request should be a simple thing for HST to do.

I mean, ultimately I could just name all my devices with the Room (i.e. "Master Bedroom Ceiling Fan", and that would work as well. Since technically no one in my house uses the web UI nor HSTouch to control the house, it would just be a pain for me to have the extra information in the name.

Edit: I just saw the thing about the IP. That is very interesting. I may spin it up again. My other reason for not depending on the HUB is that Google Home only allows port 80 on the hub and my setup won't allow that so I was looking for ways around that.
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  #12  
Old May 26th, 2017, 08:44 AM
waynehead99 waynehead99 is offline
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Very interesting... I will have to look into this approach.

I also second and have asked many times, just give us a field on the device to use for voice control. Naming devices for organization and voice are two different things. HS has shot this down so many times...
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  #13  
Old May 26th, 2017, 09:18 AM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehead99 View Post
Very interesting... I will have to look into this approach.

I also second and have asked many times, just give us a field on the device to use for voice control. Naming devices for organization and voice are two different things. HS has shot this down so many times...
I'm not necessarily concerned about having a separate field, though that would most certainly work! All I want is the ability to say which location fields it will use when building the more exact name. I will NEVER EVER use my location 1 for voice control the way it is set up.

I wonder how hard it would be to set this up in a plugin. Similar to the Hue Bridge, but just ties Homeseer items to the bridge and lets you choose how to build the name. I've written 2 plugins already, so I may look into this as my next one as I think Voice control would be awesome with the Echos (and/or Google Home) and a plugin would give us more flexibility to add features/updates without depending on HST (Even if it is duplicating functionality)
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  #14  
Old May 26th, 2017, 09:49 AM
Tomgru Tomgru is offline
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Sirmeili...

curious why you aren't using Jon's helper for this? You can set any 'conversational' triggers to run a device. so in your case, the trigger would just be "ceiling fan" and it will run. if you have two fans... two triggers with separate identifier of your choice, like:

"bedroom ceiling fan"
"Living room ceiling fan".
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  #15  
Old May 26th, 2017, 10:46 AM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomgru View Post
Sirmeili...

curious why you aren't using Jon's helper for this? You can set any 'conversational' triggers to run a device. so in your case, the trigger would just be "ceiling fan" and it will run. if you have two fans... two triggers with separate identifier of your choice, like:

"bedroom ceiling fan"
"Living room ceiling fan".
Because that requires I say "Alexa, Ask the house to" isntead of just "alexa, ...."

I wanted to have some of my more "simple" devices (lights, fans) just work through the connected api instead of the skill api.

The Skill is great for complex things (like my wife asking where I am if I'm driving home from Tampa), but for simple things, I think my family would adopt it more if they didn't have to say "Ask the house to".
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  #16  
Old May 28th, 2017, 11:02 AM
Duomi8 Duomi8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmeili View Post
Because that requires I say "Alexa, Ask the house to" isntead of just "alexa, ...."



I wanted to have some of my more "simple" devices (lights, fans) just work through the connected api instead of the skill api.



The Skill is great for complex things (like my wife asking where I am if I'm driving home from Tampa), but for simple things, I think my family would adopt it more if they didn't have to say "Ask the house to".


I did try the Alexa skill but it wasn't approved for the Uk market at the time, trying use the workarounds were so painful, and unsuccessful.

And the ability to turn on a device with the least number of words spoken is a benefit of decoupling the verbal interpretation from HomeSeer, or whatever smart system one might be using.

I may not have bothered with Alexa for home control without something like ha-bridge to 'bridge' the technologies. 'Turn on the mirror' is better than 'tell homeseer to turn on the mirror in the bathroom'. Even better would be just to state the words 'mirror', or 'chandelier', or 'ceiling', without the 'turn on/off' commands, and the light would just toggle.






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  #17  
Old May 28th, 2017, 11:28 AM
Duomi8 Duomi8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duomi8 View Post
I did try the Alexa skill but it wasn't approved for the Uk market at the time, trying use the workarounds were so painful, and unsuccessful.

And the ability to turn on a device with the least number of words spoken is a benefit of decoupling the verbal interpretation from HomeSeer, or whatever smart system one might be using.

I may not have bothered with Alexa for home control without something like ha-bridge to 'bridge' the technologies. 'Turn on the mirror' is better than 'tell homeseer to turn on the mirror in the bathroom'. Even better would be just to state the words 'mirror', or 'chandelier', or 'ceiling', without the 'turn on/off' commands, and the light would just toggle.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Either that or have Amazon setup the word 'turn' as a wake word. 'Turn on light'.




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  #18  
Old May 28th, 2017, 12:35 PM
waynehead99 waynehead99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duomi8 View Post
Either that or have Amazon setup the word 'turn' as a wake word. 'Turn on light'.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


That would be as bad as "computer". I tried that after Amazon released it. Lasted about 15 minutes.
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  #19  
Old June 2nd, 2017, 05:47 PM
Duomi8 Duomi8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehead99 View Post
That would be as bad as "computer". I tried that after Amazon released it. Lasted about 15 minutes.


I have put a feature request into Amazon, imagine just saying 'turn on lights', Echo's new name is 'Turn'. Quite a nice name .

Also just 'lights on/off', or 'music on/off', with url settings for each. All optional of course.


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  #20  
Old June 29th, 2017, 12:57 PM
DevinH DevinH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmeili View Post
I have no problem using the Skill, but are you saying you wrote your own Connected Home API for Homeseer (so you don't have the need to say "Ask homeseer")?

I have the skill so I can say "Alexa, ask the house to....", but I was trying to put some of the more common devices on the API so we can say things like "Alexa, turn on the Kitchen Ceiling Fan", but it keeps adding the Location 1 to my devices which means I can either say "Ceiling Fan", which I Have a lot of, or "Kitchen [location 1] Ceiling fan".

If you did create your own Connected Home API, please share how you did it
Yeah, I wrote my own skill using the Alexa Smart Home Skill API. The way I did it, I have to manually update the skill when I add new devices, unlike the Homeseer smart home skill, which figures it out automatically. But... I can do whatever I want with the custom skill... name devices how I want (even different from how they're named in HS3), use multiple names for a single device (if different people in the household like to call devices by different names), control the responses of commands, command the execution of HS3 events, etc. You can even combine it with commands that communicate with other systems, not just your HS box. Like, I have commands in the same skill that communicate with IFTTT... as long as the system you want to control has a public API to for it.

It's definitely a lot more work compared to just using Homeseer's skill, but if you're up for it, it's so much more flexible. As for how to setup something like that, there's a lot of tutorials and blogposts, both in the Amazon developer portal and by third parties. But I might be able to write a tutorial that's specific to HS3, if people want.
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