Alexa room awareness with blinds

I’m not able to leverage Alexa room awareness with blinds controlled via OpenWebNet binding.
What I’d like to do is to be able to control a rollershutter called “Marco rollershutter” from everywhere in the house by saying “alexa, open marco rollershutter” (i.e. using full label) and also control the same rollershutter by simply saying “alexa, open rollershutter” when I’m in a room called “Marco room” which is also a group in the alexa app containing both the echodot and the rollershutter.
I don’t think this is related to the alexa app configuration, as it already works with the main light, but it seems the rollershutter it’s a bit more tricky.

Here my configuration:

Rollershutter BlindsMarco_RollerShutter         "Tapparella Marco"         <RollerShutter> (gBlinds_P1,gBlinds) {
    alexa="RangeController.rangeValue" [category="EXTERIOR_BLIND", friendlyNames="@Setting.Opening", supportedRange="0:100:10", unitOfMeasure="Percent", actionMappings="Close=100,Open=0,Lower=(+10),Raise=(-10)", stateMappings="Closed=100,Open=0:99"],

Voice command (in italian) when I’m outside the room works, and it is:

Alexa, apri la tapparella di marco

Voice command (in italian) when I’m inside the room doesn’t work, and it is:

Alexa, apri la tapparella

Group name in alexa app is Camera di Marco and contains the rollershutter, the main light and 1 echodot.

With the main light, I guess that the display categry set to “LIGHT” allows alexa to identify it as a light, regardless the label of the item. And the translation into italian has to be “LUCE” so I can identify it with the generic word “LUCE” if I’m in the same room as the echodot.
But what happens to the rollershutter? It doesn’t work then, might it be because the display category EXTERIOR_BLIND is not translated into the italian generic TAPPARELLA word? What other generic word should I use to identify the rollershutter when I’m in the room?

thanks for your help.

So I don’t think Amazon made the latest display categories available as Alexa room awareness categories as of yet unfortunately. I had the same issue with the fan category even after they added it to the supported display list.

If you don’t want to wait, you can try to use the below workaround I wrote. It’s obviously not as easy to setup but it serves its purpose well.

I solved!
the issue was with the friendly names configuration, which has to be


and not


So the correct complete configuration is the following:

Rollershutter BlindsMarco_RollerShutter         "Tapparella Marco"         <RollerShutter> (gBlinds_P1,gBlinds) {
    alexa="RangeController.rangeValue" [category="EXTERIOR_BLIND", friendlyNames="@DeviceName.Shade", supportedRange="0:100:10", unitOfMeasure="Percent", actionMappings="Close=100,Open=0,Lower=(+10),Raise=(-10)", stateMappings="Closed=100,Open=0:99"],

For a complete list of friendly names see here:

sorry, it doesn’t work 100%. Only Raise and Lower commands work, Open and Close don’t work. Really weird.

As far as I know, with that asset id, you are only allowing that item to be called by any friendly names associated to that id. Have you setup multiple items with the same friendly names parameter? My guess is that Alexa will ask which device your request is intended. Also, I don’t think this allows room awareness either. Have you tried from a different echo device?

You should refer to the skill asset catalog documentation for the latest supported ids. The skill may not always have the latest ids added to the Alexa Skill API and we started to add some custom ids (e.g. @Setting.Humidity) to the skill with more to come in the future.

You are right, it shouldn’t, but it does. I have tried in another room with a different echodot/rollershutter pair and room awareness definitely works, but only for raise/lower commands, not for open/close in which case alexa asks for which device the command is intended.
But in the end I think you are right, this display category is probably not yet fully supported as I can see in the alexa app that despite my configuration sets the category to EXTERIOR_BLIND the item is classified as “other” type.

So I did some additional testing and you are correct that the “raise/lower” commands work in Alexa-enabled groups but not “open/close”. One thing to note is that you don’t need to change the friendlyNames parameter. That feature is solely based on the display category.

I’m seeing the exact same as @llegovich

I have two dummy blinds and one dummy switch.
Room 1, switch and one alexa are in a group (in the Alexa app)

Open/Close room 1/2 works fine.
For room awareness, the same as @llegovich

  • raise/lower, either specific items of ambiguous, works fine.
  • open/close - if exact not specified then she prompts for exact match.

Not the end of the world ATM as I already have a group which will manage it but would be cleaner if it worked.

It seems that it still the case that room awareness for blinds is not fully implemented. Open and close require the specific name whereas raise and lower do not… very slow progress from Amazon or did someone find the necessary syntax ?

It is even worse, they are cutting down on costs, so there may be less functions in future:

1 Like

The problem is that voice control is not intuitive enough nor useful enough for most until it can do more, easier and smarter. So, it looks like voice control has stalled for now.

The birth of voice control reminds of early remote controls. At firsy they just replicated the buttons on the TV and people said they are just for the lazy. Now they do much more and not many get up and struggle to use the buttons on the TV anymore.

I’d also need some help with getting at least basic room awareness for shutters.

I also have Bticino/OpenWebNet shutters and added them to Alexa using the following configuration:

In Alexa, I added them to the groups representing their rooms.

I can address them using their specific device name (e.g. “Rollo Arbeitszimmer”) but I cannot find any generic command that allows me to say the shutters for a specific room should be lowered.

What are the commands that should work, and what do I maybe need to change in my setup to get there?

Played around a bit now. At least it seems that I can control multiple shutters using their group name, just by saying “Alexa, close [group name]” or “Alexa, open [group name]”. However room awareness does not work, I cannot find any command that opens or closes the shutters in the room the Alexa device is in, without saying the room name.

One question about the friendlyNames: if I define the metadata on the UI, is there even a way to set friendly names? I cannot find any field for it (see the screenshot in my previous post).

Currently, Alexa room awareness is only supported by a handful of categories (e.g. lights and TV) and unfortunately, shutters aren’t part of it. So you have to specify the device name or group name as you have highlighted.

What are you trying to achieve?

Understand, thanks.

So, what works for me is “Alexa, close [room name]” or “Alexa, open [room name]”. However this is a bit counter-intuitive for me, I’d like it to work with a keyword like “Alexa, close the shutters in [room name]”. I do not fully understand the concept of friendlyNames yet, so I wanted to play around with it to understand it better.

Does the device name on the Alexa side you are trying to control include the term “shutters”? A command request including prepositions doesn’t always work especially for non-english languages. It is usually recommended to use the device name as defined (e.g. open office shutters opposed to open the shutters in the office).

As an alternative, you can also add specific Alexa routines with how you want to request your voice commands.

That’s an old concept that was deprecated at the end of 2021. A new attribute was added to control the position state of a window blind. This is also why you don’t necessarily need to configure the actionMappings parameter unless the default values don’t work for your use case.

1 Like

Understand. I was looking more for a generic term for shutters that addresses all the shutters in a room, independent of device names. close [room] works fine, but linguistically I’d find it more intuitive to say close the shutters in [room].