Current Item State within Amazon Alexa

I know its been asked many times and the people responsible have other priorities, so I hate to ask again but… (there’s always a but)

Amazon has been rolling out some very nice Alexa enhancements recently. Having the ability to see and utilize the current status of OH items would be especially nice.

  • Any idea when the openHAB Skill will have the ability to show the current status of Items in Alexa?

My understanding is the developer had started developing a new version of the skill but had to focus on other priorities, which is understandable. While we wait for the new skill…

  • Have any of you enterprising openHABians implemented an interim solution which enables Alexa to display and utilize the current state of OH items?

Thank in Advance, Glenn

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This is rather trivial to implement via the echo control binding’s lastVoiceCommand and TTS, (maybe an Alexa routine too). Basically you run a rule via voice command that outputs a certain item’s state to TTS, can be made dynamic too so you can request the state of item X.

Hi @illnesse, thank you for taking the time to response to my question.

It looks like you are referencing the Echo Control Binding, which I do use to control my Echo devices. I was asking about the Alexa openHAB Skill which enables control of your openHAB items via Echo device. One feature that’s been missing is the ability for Alexa to know the current state of your openHAB device.


Did this ever go anywhere, would love to see the status of my zwave items in the alexa app and ask alexa status of one of my switches, etc…

Am I missing something? Using the official Alexa skill i’ve always had the status of all my items show their status in my alexa app

It might be something I am doing.

So, I tag switchable of one of my oh items, I discover in alexa and I can see my oh item as a switchable device, I can switch on, off from either the switch in the alexa apl or verbally, I can see the item state change in oh, however, I cannot say to alexa, current state of the item, alexa will only allow me to ask for on or off. Also, if I go back into the alexa app and look at that device, neither on or off is selected. So I can switch on or off in alexa, but it does not hold its state value, nor allow me to ask for it…

Does that add clarity, like I say it could be something I am doing :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Zolakk,

Let me explain what i am trying to do and setup, that might explain whats missing, i think its because my item is not from a channel or thing but an item to store the value of a virtual switch.

I have Smart bulbs connected to Alexa - i can control with no issue.
I have zwave motion sensors controlled by OH, these were added via paper ui and again, all check in and are display updates and good values. I can call a routine from OH to Alexa and control the lights via motion and light levels.

What i want to do is control the ability to switch on, off and get the status of auto detection, for this I have an item manually created from file for the switch that holds the state of light automation status.

//Internal Motion
Switch ALEXA_Master_Bedroom_Motion_Switch “Motion, Master Bedroom” [“Switchable”]
Switch ALEXA_Ground_Floor_Motion_Switch “Motion, Ground Floor” [“Switchable”]

I ask Alexa “Motion, Master Bedroom” ON!
I can see the item in OH change to On and from here my rules use the sensors to control the lights, equally i can ask Alex to off the motion and they revert back to manual without the motion sensors.

OH and jdbc is storing the state of the switch so OH is aware of its current state, but in the alexa app it shows as neither on nor off, and if i ask for the status of “Motion, Master Bedroom” from alexa she says" Hmm i dont know that". Its this value of the item created cannot get into alexa.

It should be possible to get the state reporting into alexa and it would appear this is done at the discovery stage, just not 100% if OH can provide.

Does this make sense, like i say its probably something i am not doing.