Amazon Echo Support

Posted on
Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:36 pm
Gary_BBGames offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Amazon Echo Support

So far I have got 3 ways to have Amazon Echo support, each with their own pros and cons:

The update of Home Remote - Activator for OS X (out NOW!) can interface with the IFTTT Maker Channel as it has a webs server built in. This means you can port forward your external IP to the Home Remote server and then use that to call your Indigo actions. A video of this method can be seen here :
https://youtu.be/IjF7CANJNQI

Pros: It's quick to call: "Alexa, trigger my study lights on"
Cons: It's rate limited, and sometimes there is a delay.

The second method to call indigo was to write a custom skill, but as Jay noted, there is no way to send a configuration to a skill, meaning no server address or custom utterances. I will be releasing my skill on GitHub for people, along with setup instructions. You can see a video here:
https://youtu.be/RwkkHBU8MZg

Pros: It's accurate, and feels better. You won't need to create an IFTTT trigger for each actions. It's immediate.
Cons: You will need to set it up yourself, although this is only 20 minutes of following instructions.

The third way is using something like the Hue or WeMo scripts that will fake a device and then tie actions to it. I use the fauxmo Python script You can see a video here:
https://youtu.be/cSPBfL62XPU

Pros: It's accurate, fast and feels better. You won't need to create an IFTTT trigger for each actions. It's immediate, with no external network calls
Cons: You will need to set it up yourself. You are limited to 16 devices, each with an on and off URL call.

Posted on
Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:59 pm
DVDDave offline
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Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

Hi Gary,

As you know, I've been trying your 3rd method with fauxmo and it works great! Really fast. Now for some questions:

Some of my Home Remote actions are toggles. I think I need to put the same action in the on and off sections in fauxmo, correct? Alexa does respond to a toggle request so I guess she must be keeping track of the state of the device somewhere.

I can't get fauxmo to work when I turn on authentication in the Home Remote server. Am I correct in assuming that authentication is not necessary anyway since the control URLs are executed locally between the Echo and my server (or maybe just locally on my server) and never leave my LAN. So, as long as I don't turn on port forwarding to the Home Remote server, I should be OK, right? If not, do you have any suggestions for making authentication work with fauxmo?

Thanks!

--Dave

Posted on
Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:29 pm
Gary_BBGames offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Re: Amazon Echo Support

Hey Dave, that's correct. I haven't tried it yet with authentication but can't see how it would work. The beauty is, as you figured out, that it's all internal network calls, so no passwords are needed.

I have seen that you can get wemo plug in for HomeKit bridge, to allow Siri access too, but at the moment the fake wemos don't respond correctly. I'm going to see if I can make them a little more real.

Posted on
Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:30 pm
Gary_BBGames offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Re: Amazon Echo Support

And as for toggles, yes, the same action in both. I've not hand any luck with toggles but hat might be down to my accent. BBC Radio 4 is a nightmare to turn on too

Posted on
Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:33 pm
DVDDave offline
Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

Good to see we're on the same wavelength. For HomeKit, I use homebridge-indigo which works great. Nice to see so many workable solutions popping up!

For toggles, it was initially working but now, no matter how clearly I say it in my best California accent, Alexa does not recognize the word anymore. I have no idea why.

Posted on
Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:23 pm
Gary_BBGames offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Re: Amazon Echo Support

With Home Remote, Hue for Echo & HomeBridge I can control my house with both Siri & Alexa:
https://youtu.be/9GpBUbqndl0
https://youtu.be/cSPBfL62XPU

Posted on
Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:46 am
Gary_BBGames offline
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Re: Amazon Echo Support

This is the final setup, and it is rad!

One server, with Indigo, Home Remote, Homebridge and ha-bridge installed.

26 devices, with unique on and off URLS, working with Alexa and Siri:

https://youtu.be/yVDUF7GSj28

Posted on
Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:18 am
durosity offline
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Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Ye Ol' England.

Re: Amazon Echo Support

"Pretty bloody cool" is exactly the right term for it. Loving all the LEDs you have in your study, looks very atmospheric:)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Computer says no.

Posted on
Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:26 am
DVDDave offline
Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

Gary_BBGames wrote:
This is the final setup, and it is rad!

One server, with Indigo, Home Remote, Homebridge and ha-bridge installed.

26 devices, with unique on and off URLS, working with Alexa and Siri:

https://youtu.be/yVDUF7GSj28

haha Why don't I believe this is "final"? I thought mine was final too and now you mention ha-bridge which I'll have to install as well.

BTW, I have not been able to get fauxmo working with authentication directly to Indigo. I've been working with one of the developers, who seems interested in making it work, but it doesn't matter too much with Home Remote in the mix. I'll probably have to add more buttons to Home Remote now but that doesn't really matter either since they don't interfere when I put them at the end of the list. Maybe ha-bridge will work with authentication and reduce that need.

And thanks again for Home Remote! Besides it's usefulness with Echo, it's definitely become my go-to controller when I don't want to use Siri or Alexa. It's also the first controller that my wife has fully accepted and utilized.

--Dave

Posted on
Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:36 am
DVDDave offline
Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

Hey Gary,

I got ha-bridge working also. Pretty cool configuration web page. However, like fauxmo, I can't get authenticated URLs working direct to Indigo although they do work with Home Remote in case I ever need to turn on the feature. Good thing you added the server feature to Home Remote or I would not have been able to take advantage of either of these very cool bridges. Thanks once again!

Posted on
Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:05 am
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Amazon Echo Support

ha-bridge does the same thing as the Alexa-Hue Bridge plugin, except I think the plugin is significantly easier to use (I'm biased of course). Just one more option.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:08 am
DVDDave offline
Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

jay (support) wrote:
ha-bridge does the same thing as the Alexa-Hue Bridge plugin, except I think the plugin is significantly easier to use (I'm biased of course). Just one more option.

Ah, thanks Jay. Great solutions are coming so fast from every direction that I'm obviously losing track. A testament to the power of Indigo, I think. I'll give it a try.

--Dave

Posted on
Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:52 pm
DVDDave offline
Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Amazon Echo Support

jay (support) wrote:
ha-bridge does the same thing as the Alexa-Hue Bridge plugin, except I think the plugin is significantly easier to use (I'm biased of course). Just one more option.

Once I got the right plug in installed, I got this working easily. It works incredibly well! Super powerful, very fast and has the legendary Indigo ease of use. I can't believe I missed this earlier; would've saved me a lot of technical work playing around with the FauxMo (WeMo) and ha-bridge (Hue) bridges. It's still handy to have the Home Remote server but for interfacing Alexa to Indigo, this is the ultimate solution. Thanks for alerting me to this, Jay!

--Dave

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