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Alexa

[Skill] Alexa Homey skill

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  • Feature requests can be made at the github of Athom. Athom builds a skill but the community can also build their own skill so i would say proof Athom wrong and do it better :) Just like you say @MbenzNo there are two ways to handle this and Harmony did choose to do it both ways but Athom chooses for now one way.

    Don't really see the problem in that because that's the beauty of Homey, you can do it better/build your own app/skill :) 

  • One of the problems in getting Homey popular amongst ordinary people is the fragmented forums to seek help, and discuss improvements.

    For most people github is a strange and intimidating beast. People like myself with limited skills in programming do not feel at home, like in an ordinary discussion forum.
    I have a fairly extensive Smart Home setup, that I with my limited or non existing programming skills have configured myself.

    The Homey community is an great asset, but I fear that Homey will be a platform for enthusiasts with programming skills, and slowly die due to loss of sales if ordinary customers/users feels that they is not heard because they don't feel at home at github...

    In my house I now have 3 different voice recognition systems. That does not give a very good WAF, as it is confusing with different trigger words. Homey is not good enough in voice recognition, and the speaker is useless. It is also to expensive for multi-room application. Google Home have been to expensive, but with the introduction of Google Home Mini, that have changed. Amazon Alexa have been the system with best support for different Smart House Controllers, and with the dot's the natural choice for multi-room voice. 

    As I can control TV, Netflix, Sonos and several other devices directly trough Alexa, (or Google Home) having to Alexa to Ask Homey to do the rest is a dealbreaker, and pushing me back to my VeraPlus that I still have on stand by...


  • Alexa itself also requires you to indicate which skill to use. For example I say "Alexa play <radio station> on TuneIn". When I would leave out the TuneIn part, nothing happens.
    A few months ago, a post on the forum mentioned that removing the "ask Homey" part would limit the number of available commands for the user significantly. 
    So far I'm very happy with the progress in Homey. I work in software development and I know how much work it takes to get it right.
  • You are right about the limitation in commands.
    I asked Emile directly after they released the skill, to quote his answer "Alexa home-automation skills suck" (or something like that)

    I guess he was kinda right, Alexa still only has support for lights, sockets and thermostats as far as i know.
  • yemoH said:
    Alexa itself also requires you to indicate which skill to use. For example I say "Alexa play <radio station> on TuneIn". When I would leave out the TuneIn part, nothing happens.

    That is not entirely true.
    There is a Smart Home Skill for Alexa called Yonomi. It enables me to turn on a radio station on my Sonos without specifying the TuneIn part. It requires some setup in The Yonomi app, but that is a One-Time setup.
  • swttt said:
    You are right about the limitation in commands.
    I asked Emile directly after they released the skill, to quote his answer "Alexa home-automation skills suck" (or something like that)

    I guess he was kinda right, Alexa still only has support for lights, sockets and thermostats as far as i know.

    As of now the Homey Voice Activated Home-automation skills suck more...

    On my Vera-Alexa system i could dim the light to any given % by voice, and it worked every time! With Homey it is hit and miss, and I am not sure that it is possible to dim the lights to a specified % level.
  • BramBram Member, Athom
    edited November 2017

    Modbreak: this discussion is meant for the current version of the Alexa Skill integration in Homey provided by Athom. off-topic comments will be removed

    The new Alexa Smart Home skill is planned for Q1 2018, as this is a new feature and requires a lot of work to get right. Once this new skill is live we will open a new forum discussion regarding this new skill.

  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    MbenzNo said:
    swttt said:
    You are right about the limitation in commands.
    I asked Emile directly after they released the skill, to quote his answer "Alexa home-automation skills suck" (or something like that)

    I guess he was kinda right, Alexa still only has support for lights, sockets and thermostats as far as i know.

    As of now the Homey Voice Activated Home-automation skills suck more...

    On my Vera-Alexa system i could dim the light to any given % by voice, and it worked every time! With Homey it is hit and miss, and I am not sure that it is possible to dim the lights to a specified % level.
    This should be possible with Homey as well. Maybe Alexa doesn't hear you correctly?
  • My comment 'disappeared' to the closed topic, probably stuck in between the discussion... Therefor my question again. The new Sonos (Sonos One) has native Alexa built-in. Should this also work with the current Alexa skill? Does anyone has experience with this?

  • Caros said:

    My comment 'disappeared' to the closed topic, probably stuck in between the discussion... Therefor my question again. The new Sonos (Sonos One) has native Alexa built-in. Should this also work with the current Alexa skill? Does anyone has experience with this?

    It's Alexa so should work the same way
  • Emile said:
    This should be possible with Homey as well. Maybe Alexa doesn't hear you correctly?

    @Emilie: Alexa hear me perfectly, but Homey is a bit picky about the commands. If I ask to increase or decrease the lights in the living room, it works as expected (Dims/increases in steps about 25%. But to dim the lights to xx %, it seems that Homey does not dim TO XX % but dims XX %, or just dims/increases by 25%. Sometimes it seems that Homey dims the lights to the desired %, but most of the time Homey seems to just decreasing light by a fixed amount (25% ?)

  • Has anyone have problems with the connection between Homey and Alexa recently? Up to a week ago, everything was fine and working. Now it seems Alexa can't find Homey and responds at all commands with "you don't have any smarthome devices, go to the alexa app..."

    If the skill simply should be working, does anyone has an idea what could be the problem? (I tried turning everything on/off and dis-/enabled the skill)

  • @Roephoed I had the same problems yesterday.
    If u get that message "you don't have any smarthome devices, go to the alexa app..." this means that alexa it self is trying to handle the commands , so she is not relaying the message to homey.
    I figured this out when i went to the Alexa site under History u can see the text that she hears.
    Whenever she gave me this error she either heard "Harmony" or "Homie"
    I had to pronounce Homey a little more american for her to understand :)
  • Have the same problem as Roephoed. I sometimes have to say the command three times before Alexa understands me. I often get the responce "you don't have any smarthome devices, go to the alexa app".  This is a recent problem. A couple of weeks ago every thing worked fine.
  • Roephoed said:

    Has anyone have problems with the connection between Homey and Alexa recently? Up to a week ago, everything was fine and working. Now it seems Alexa can't find Homey and responds at all commands with "you don't have any smarthome devices, go to the alexa app..."

    If the skill simply should be working, does anyone has an idea what could be the problem? (I tried turning everything on/off and dis-/enabled the skill)

    I have the same issue, it now confuses Homey with Harmony  half the time, re-linked, updated all software, to no avail..
    Can someone look into this? 
  • new alexa skill available:

    works great in english and german language!
  • Tried it and works like a charm!  I can now just call for a device and it immediatly turns it on/off or dims. However, it does not recognizes the groups (E.g. all lights in the living room) set in Homey, which is something i think is still missing. Fortunatly, I see in the Alexa app that you can creat groups there as well, thus i think this can be resolved in that way.

    Overall, I'm really happy about this. After an initial 10 minutes testing and already think that speech recognizition with Homey has made a leap forward this way.

  • Is it now possible to directly trigger flows without saying "Alexa, ask homey"?


  • lubbertkramerlubbertkramer Member
    edited January 2018
    Count_B said:
    Is it now possible to directly trigger flows without saying "Alexa, ask homey"?


    With the new  skill as mentioned by Athom yes. You even can have your Homey in your own language (by renaming the devices in alexa smarthome) to english.
  • "Renaming devices" 
    Do you mean creating a group, or is there another way?
  • Count_B said:
    Is it now possible to directly trigger flows without saying "Alexa, ask homey"?


    With the new  skill as mentioned by Athom yes. You even can have your Homey in your own language (by renaming the devices in alexa smarthome) to english.
    @lubbertkramer Can you elaborate a little bit more? As I do not understand how this works. How can you trigger flows with your voice? Alexa only sees devices? (e.g. a flow that is triggered when i say "Alexa, i am going to bed")
  • SeraphimSeraphim Member
    edited January 2018
    Just tried the new Homey Alexa Skill, all my devices have been found, so far really good. BUT ;-) does someone else have the problem, that Alexa App is telling "Server not reacting"? Did I make a mistake?

    Update: Well forget the Problem with server not reacting. Alexa or Homey took a few minutes till working....Now there is another Problem. Not all devices are there. I miss some devices.

  • uhm, little bit disapointed, Hoped that you also could trigger flows without "Alexa ask Homey..." but it seems that you can only trigger individual devices which Alexa found after the discovery.
    Please correct me if i'm wrong. 

  • Roephoed said:
    Count_B said:
    Is it now possible to directly trigger flows without saying "Alexa, ask homey"?


    With the new  skill as mentioned by Athom yes. You even can have your Homey in your own language (by renaming the devices in alexa smarthome) to english.
    @lubbertkramer Can you elaborate a little bit more? As I do not understand how this works. How can you trigger flows with your voice? Alexa only sees devices? (e.g. a flow that is triggered when i say "Alexa, i am going to bed")
    Just rename your devices to English if for example your Homey is Dutch, then you can trigger it without changing the language of your Homey or just use the build in Alexa routines for flows. 

    Seraphim said:
    Just tried the new Homey Alexa Skill, all my devices have been found, so far really good. BUT ;-) does someone else have the problem, that Alexa App is telling "Server not reacting"? Did I make a mistake?

    Update: Well forget the Problem with server not reacting. Alexa or Homey took a few minutes till working....Now there is another Problem. Not all devices are there. I miss some devices.

    Not all devices are supported by Alexa or the skill, if you have missing devices best it to open up a github issue so Athom can take a look if the device can be added :) 
  • I havent yet looked into this new skill (about to enable it) but I have a Better Logic device called Alarm Override which allows me to override my alarm remotely - is there a way to EXCLUDE that from being able to be used from Alexa?
  • KikkerX10 said:
    uhm, little bit disapointed, Hoped that you also could trigger flows without "Alexa ask Homey..." but it seems that you can only trigger individual devices which Alexa found after the discovery.
    Please correct me if i'm wrong. 

    KikkerX10 said:
    uhm, little bit disapointed, Hoped that you also could trigger flows without "Alexa ask Homey..." but it seems that you can only trigger individual devices which Alexa found after the discovery.
    Please correct me if i'm wrong. 

    I'm not sure, (see post above), but presumably you can trigger a flow by setting up a better logic device in the same way?
  • Sadly I have an issue with my Lightwave devices which existed when I was using HA Bridge as a workaround too - the values don't work correctly - 100% is recognised but does not actually set to 100%, it seems to stop about 90% ish. Same at the lower end

    I hacked HA Bridge to work with this, but I'm unsure where the issue actually lies - presumably the lightwave app on Homey
  • vaderag said:
    I havent yet looked into this new skill (about to enable it) but I have a Better Logic device called Alarm Override which allows me to override my alarm remotely - is there a way to EXCLUDE that from being able to be used from Alexa?
    Sure, just disable it in the Alexa app.
  • bierrebierre Member
    edited January 2018
    I'm really happy with the Alexa integratie, it works for most part. The only issue I have is with Honeywell Evohome. Alexa is able to tell the current temperature, but can't change the temperature. Anyone else having this problem?

    [EDIT] Looks like Honeywell devices can't even be changed by Homey itself. Changing a temperature doesn't do anything.
  • Also very happy with this! Thanks to everyone that made it possible.
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