Binding Request: Amazon Echo

Finally got round to setting up the “Echo Bridge”… Turns out it wasn’t that hard…
Even easier when I found I could use this to configure the bridge rather than posting JSON to it…

Is pretty easy from then on…

Can anyone confirm what other Echo commands are possible? I guess because the bridge is emulating a hue bridge that I’m stuck saying “Alexa, turn on the garage door” top open it :slightly_smiling:

@TommySharp - On/Off/Dim - that is unfortunately it! You can do more by creating combinations of custom switch items and rules on the OpenHAB server side too, but its somewhat limited…

@sipvoip - My NodeJS ASK Skill implementation is coming along very well. I finally have it doing almost everything desired, including most of what you described above. Because I used Alexa-App to build the skill in JS, it can be hosted locally on NodeJS (which I prefer, short of an OH io/binding :slightly_smiling: ) or deployed as a Lambda ARN in the cloud. By customizing the scripts JS ‘maps’ which connect simple words to OpenHAB items (i.e. ‘power consumption’ > OH Item ‘HEM1_P1’ or ‘office lights’ > ‘Light_Group_Office’), and heavily leveraging ASK utterances/slots, its really easy for anyone to get used to using it… It is also getting quite good at figuring out what you want regardless of how you ask it, and I’m working on intelligently ‘re-prompting’ the user as needed if something isn’t understood. The only pain points are you have to say the trigger word first - ‘Alexa ask Jarvis to …’, it relies on the cloud, and it cannot ‘announce’ stuff on its own…

This skill based approach however allows me to do all kinds of stuff around the house, and provides a clean I/O via voice for just about everything (not just ‘OK’ in response). Currently I can:

  • Check status reports/weather reports/etc, the output of custom OpenHAB rules
  • Set Hue colors/levels, by room
  • Set Nest temperature
  • Control HVAC (house fan, air purifiers, wood stove blowers, target temps, etc)
  • Switch any appliance that can be controlled by OpenHAB (directly/zigbee/zwave/etc)
  • Change scenes/modes
  • Get states/values of anything that has been mapped (i.e. multisensor temp/humidity/lux, power consumption, etc)
  • Display custom ‘cards’ in the Alexa app
  • Easily customize the verbal feedback for any action!

More to come…

1 Like

Mike, that sounds pretty sweet. Do you have this in Github somewhere? Need/want any testers?

Thanks @andre!

I will definitely open source it and throw it up on Github soon. Working out a few issues with it first!

I like it! How do I start playing with it? I like that it can run locally, but the stupid ask Jarvis part frustrates me for some reason. I hope Amazon lets us or someone hacks a way to make this work without that. Also also as you point out fixing that limitation of announcing stuff would be nice. Anyway, would love to play with what you have.

P.S. Can you PM me your paypal address?

1 Like

@sipvoip - THANKS A LOT for your donation via PayPal! That was very much appreciated. As mentioned I’ve already sunk 25 hours of R&D into this thing, and am happy to share it with the open source community. I will expedite getting it up on Github for you :slightly_smiling:

1 Like

@TommySharp I’ve mentioned this a few times earlier on this and other threads, but Alexa will natively allow you to say “Alexa, Open the garage door” for instance and pass the On command using echobridge. I’ve been using the echobridge setup since day one and meets most of my control needs, although I’d love to try oout some of the new development you guys are working on.


@ubergeek As far as I know the closest I can say with the echobridge is “Alexa, turn on the Garage door”. You can only say On/Off not Open/Close as it’s emulating lights…

Strange…works for me since day one saying open or close for on or off function. Open close totally works for me for some reason

Very interesting, and hope that we can somehow get the Echo to also use a custom Skill without having to say the ‘Skill’ name first, and do more than just ON/OFF/DIM like the Amazon Echo HA Bridge seemingly offers! Please let me know if you uncover any other details on this!

Coming down home stretch with a public release of my custom Alexa-HA skill! It might happen later tonight baring any unforeseen complications :slight_smile: Stay tuned…

Hey all,

First release of my Amazon Echo Skill is here, and a community collaboration page here.

1 Like

Adding my input, Open Garage Door works for me. I have noticed that “Alexa, Open THE garage door” does not work as well as “Alexa, Open Garage Door.”

@mkent - thanks. This is interesting; at it seems Echo is getting a little more lax in how you issue the Hue bridge commands over time. I’ve read elsewhere that if you create a group which includes ‘THE’, then ‘Open THE garage door’ may work for you as well…

If you’d like to do more sophisticated things, like checking the current status of your garage door through the Echo, be sure to check out our Skill. Once configured, it takes care of all different speech utterances for you automatically, which you can see in the sample-utterances.

Best regards,

@mkent @d0t Well I will reiterate that from day one setting up my echobridge I have been able to say any of the combinations, Alexa, OPEN the garage door, etc.

Have you guys done the speech recognition excercizes to better acclimate your voice to the echo? I know I did that initially, this was like 6-8 months ago I think. OPEN/CLOSE had always worked for ON/OFF for me.

I think it’s interesting that we are seeing some different results.

@ubergeek - I do recall :slight_smile: And that is a good point - I personally have not done the training exercise on my Echo!

Since I’ve seen several saying that it’s not possible to make Alexa speak, I just wanted to point out that Bluetooth on the server (and enough proximity to you Echo) is all you need. I have a Bluetooth dongle on my server (for presence detection purposes), and just tried making Alexa speak - and it worked perfectly fine. Unfortunately it’s not the same voice though.

I would like to set up OpenHAB to be able to speak over my Amazon Echo also. Could you please tell me how you set it up? I run OpenHAB on a raspberry pi 3 which has Bluetooth built in.

  1. Put the Echo within Bluetooth reach of the server (or vice versa).
  2. Pair the two (use the Alexa app), and make sure that the Bluetooth Audio is the default sound output.
  3. Install a local TTS on Raspberry. My OH is on Windows, so I use the command line version of Balabolka.
  4. Use executeCommandLine in a rule to run the TTS engine with the desired text.

I guess you could also use a cloud TTS for #3 (using curl and your favorite MP3 player) as long as you can get the Raspberry to play the sound to the Bluetooth speaker.

Tip: If you use the Alexa Echo Bridge REST interface (or similar) for Alexa to communicate with OpenHAB, you will need to add 2-3 seconds of sleep before playing the response sound. Otherwise the Alexa “OK” will silence whatever output you want her to say.

Is it possible just with alexa app to try openhab or is it a must to have at least echo?