Alexa Can Tell You When Your Door is OpenBy - 08/31/2018
Just when I think Google Home has won me over, Amazon takes a huge leap forward.
Alexa and SmartThings/abode Sensors
Alexa now supports SmartThings and abode motion and contact sensors. While you can do the expected like ask for the status of a sensor (i.e., Is my back door open?), you can also do the unexpected: Set a custom routine with your sensors as the Action and Alexa as the Trigger.
Setting Up a Custom Routine
Setting up a Custom Routine is done from the Alexa app. First, you will need to connect the SmartThings or abode skill.
Next, click the hamburger menu, and click “Routines.”
From here, click the + button to add a new Routine.
Next, click the + button next to “When this happens.”
Then click on “Device.”
From this screen, you will see a list of your connected devices including your SmartThings or abode motion and contact sensors. You will choose the sensor that you want to use as a trigger. For example, I’ll choose my Back Door sensor.
From here, you can decide if you want the trigger to be door open or door closed. Once you decide, click save.
Next, you will click the + button next to Add Action. This is what will happen after your door is opened or closed. In this case, we want Alexa to announce that the door is opened so we will select “Alexa says.” The list includes several preset messages, but I prefer Custom.
From here, you can ask Alexa to say whatever you want, assuming you keep the message under 250 characters. I went with something simple, “Back Door Open.” Once you type in your message, click add.
The final step is choosing the Alexa device you want to trigger. Under from, click the down arrow. You can only choose one Alexa device per routine so if you want all of your Alexa devices to announce the action, you will need to repeat the routine for each device.
The end result is pretty fantastic.