Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Posted on
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:45 am
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a major upgrade to to the ALexa-Hue Bridge Plugin - So much so that I have decided it is worthy of a new version number i.e. V3.

The major feature I have added is for Alexa to be able to directly control Indigo Actions in addition to Indigo Devices.

To facilitate this I have had to do some fundamental changes to how the plugin works.

At the moment in Version 2, if an Indigo device is added to Alexa, then internal to the Indigo Device there is information (properties) stored as to which Alexa-Hue Bridge the Device belongs to and also its alternate Alexa name if set. The V2 plugin scans devices to determine if the device is linked to an Alexa device and to which Alexa-Hue Bridge a device belongs to. This method would be become overly complicated when trying to align Alexa Devices (e.g. names know to Alexa) to a multiplicity of Actions.

The new version allows you to define all the the Alexa Devices and decided whether they are Indigo Devices or Indigo Actions. The Devices works pretty much as before. With Actions, you can assign an ON Action, an OFF Action and a DIM action.

in addition you can assign an ON/OFF variable which will be set to True or False dependent on whether you asked Alexa to turn the device on or off. This is done before the ON or OFF actions are called and so the variable can be accessed in a common action to determine the On/Off state.

You can also assign a DIM variable. So when you ask Alexa to dim a device to say 50%, the value 50 will be updated into the variable and the associated DIM action will be called. This means that the DIM action can access the variable and process accordingly.

As in version 2, Version 3 supports multiple Alexa-Hue bridges.

The current state of play is definitely "alpha" testing. However, the basics work, device and actions are being controlled by Alexa. :D

I am now working through the code to make sure there is enough error checking in place. I also want to add in some logic if at all possible, to ease the migration from V2 to V3.

I anticipate being able to release this as a beta within a week. :)

Posted on
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:21 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Very cool! Can't wait to try it out.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:57 pm
Woetjes offline
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Location: Belgium

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Great - looking forward to it!

Posted on
Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:00 pm
DVDDave offline
Posts: 250
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

This sounds great, Jon. This plugin has been incredibly useful and is the only way I've gotten my wife to use our automation system.

This also comes at a good time since I'm having a weird problem with the current version. I recently converted to a faster server and, for some reason, I'm getting an error from the plugin when I reboot the server.: "Computer has no host name specified. Check the Sharing system preference and restart the plugin once the name is resolved."

If I then reload the plugin, all is OK. The host name is indeed specified in the Sharing pref, same as before. I'm speculating that the faster server is starting up the plugin before sharing is fully running but that is just a guess and I wouldn't know how to solve it anyway. I mention it here in case the new version may have a similar issue. Of course, I would be happy to help with the testing.

Thanks!

--Dave

Posted on
Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:41 pm
DVDDave offline
Posts: 250
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

DVDDave wrote:
... I'm getting an error from the plugin when I reboot the server.: "Computer has no host name specified. Check the Sharing system preference and restart the plugin once the name is resolved."...

Whoops, I just realized I was running the old 1.02 version. However, oddly enough, when I updated to 2.011 I get the same problem requiring a plugin reload after restarting the server. However now the error looks like this: "StandardError detected in Responder.Run for 'Alexa'. Line '175' has error='must be string, not None'"

Equally clueless how to solve. :(

--Dave

edit: actually, I'm getting both error messages

Posted on
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:19 am
sarahcat offline
Posts: 50
Joined: Apr 16, 2011

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Very anticipated. Your current (v2) of the Alexa-Hue Bridge plug-in motivated me to buy two Echo Dots and wall mounts, putting them in two hallway locations. Now, we can issue voice commands to control Indigo devices from just about anywhere in the house, provided the doors are open. I'm not sure how the new capability of defining Indigo actions as well as Indigo devices will work, since your announcement stated that the actions will still be limited to On, Off, and Dim (because those actions are Alexa commands).

Can you give an example of an Alexa voice command that would be different with V3? For example, when I lock a door, I tell Alexa "Turn (door name) On" and to unlock it, I tell it "Turn (door name) Off". If I read the capability correctly, isn't that pretty much the same with V3?

Thanks!

Posted on
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:02 am
autolog offline
Posts: 2025
Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

Hi @sarahcat,
In V3 you are still limited in what you can say to Alexa i.e. Turn on, Turn off, and Dim

The addition in V3 is that you can now control Indigo Actions as well as Indigo Devices. At the moment you can achieve this in V2 to a certain extent by defining an Indigo virtual device but that is limited to just on and off. With V3 you specify individual actions for turn on, turn off and dim. In addition the plugin can optionally update a user specified turn on/turn off variable (True=On, False=Off) and also a user specified dim variable (so when you say dim something to 50%, the variable gets set to 50 and then the dim action is called - the dim action can then query the variable value).

The use of actions means that you could for example setup an action to control the volume on a hifi system e.g. "Alexa dim amplifier volume to 30%" or "Alexa turn on next track" (to skip forward) etc.

The architecture of the plugin has changed in V3. In V2, each Indigo device that Alexa controlled, had a property stored in it for each Alexa-Hue Bridge it was associated with. The V2 plugin had to scan Indigo devices to see if they were associated with a n Alexa-He Bridge. V3 now stores all of this information within properties in the Alexa-Hue Bridge. This needed to be done to support Actions. So it it is a fundamental change in how it works.

Also as I was working my way through the coding, I have tidied up the code and sorted out some minor bugs.

I am now using V3 to control my production environment. :D

I am currently working on an update to the documentation and getting feedback from early testers. Once the documentation is complete, I will upload it to Github as a Pre-Release.

PM me if you want to try out V3 (Alpha). :)

Posted on
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:47 am
autolog offline
Posts: 2025
Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Alexa-Hue Bridge Version 3.0 Pre-Announcement :)

As Version 3 (currently 3.0.5) has now been released, I am locking this thread. :)

Please post and feedback or questions on Version 3 in a new thread.

Thanks. :)

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