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2 Things I would like my Echo to do...

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2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« on: October 03, 2018, 11:05:08 am »
So there are two things I would really like to do with Alexa. I currently have a 1st gen Echo (the tall tube) and I will be getting 3 Dots in the mail today.

The first thing I would love to do and I am 99% sure this isn't possible based on my research, but I figured I would ask, is to customize the Echo's name and voice beyond the choices Amazon gives. Basically I want to make Jarvis from Iron Man. I would like the wake word to be Jarvis and I want to give the Echo an old English guys' voice. I would also like to customize the reaction. In stead of "Ok" I would like "Yes Sir" or something. Again, I'm sure this isn't possible without major hacking at this time.

The second thing I am interested in doing is having "device specific" commands. For example. I purchased wifi bulbs for all of the lights in my house. I have my 1st gen Echo in the living room and plan on putting the 3 dots in different rooms around the house. Is there a way to program a routine that says if "Turn the lights on" is heard by Device 1, turn the kitchen lights on, if it's heard by Device 2, turn the bedroom lights on, if Device 3 hears it, turn the game room lights on. The reason I ask is because the Echo is so exact in the phrasing (saying "Turn the lights on" won't work if the scripted phrase is just "Turn lights on") that I am having a hard time remembering what name I gave to what room (Master bedroom or bedroom, Christy's room or nursery, etc). So I figured if I could make all the commands the same just based on what device hears them, it would make things much simpler.

That's all I have for now :)

Offline kenf

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Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 11:37:24 am »
I'll try to hit all your questions, but might miss one:

Without hacking, you can only choose from one of several Wake Words (aka name).  Choices include Echo, Alexa, Computer.  There's four or fiv echoices, obviously, I can't remember the others :)  Each device can have a different wake word, or use all the same.

Without hacking, you can't change the voice.  Alexa's voice is all you get.  Maybe if you change the country you're in, but that's probably region-coded to your account.

You can name each device.  I name mine after the room they are in, so I know where they are.
Then, you create a Group, named after the room you want to represent.
Then you assign the Device and lights/switches to that group

With that Grouping setup, when I walk into the kitchen and say "Alexa, Turn on the Light", it looks at the Device that heard the command, sees what group it is in, and turns on every light assigned to that group.

That part should be spot on what you you wanted.  Took me a while to find out about that feature.



Offline jwlv

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Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 11:54:19 am »
If you are using routines then the phrasing has to be exactly as you set it up. (e.g. turn on the lights)
But you don't have to use a routine to turn on smart switches. Just use the Alexa skill that your smart switch comes with. Then you can say any combination of turn on the lights, turn the lights on, turn on lights, turn lights on. Some members here even use shorter commands, such as kitchen on (to turn on a kitchen light).

Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 12:21:34 pm »
Thanks for the replies. It is as I assumed about the name and voice, but I am excited to hear about the groups. I tried the groups but figured the routines would be more flexible. I will try going back to the groups once I get my Dots.

Offline kenf

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Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 03:13:39 pm »
Keep in mind, because of the Group feature, certain phrases are effectively reserved.

turn on/off the light/lights  - toggles all the lights in the Group that the responding Echo resides in
turn on/off the [GroupName] light/lights  - toggles all the lights in the named group

So you don't want to make a routine called "Turn of the lights" or it'll collide with what the group mechanism is trying to do

For me, I made a "Red Alert" and "Lights Out" Scene, to turn on/off every the light in the house.

Then I hooked the Lights Out scene to the "Good Night" routine.

The Red Alert scene fires if my security alarm goes off.





Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2018, 08:19:00 am »
Ok so I got my Dots all set up last night and have started to play around with the Group feature. How should I set it up so that, as jwlv said
You can say any combination of turn on the lights, turn the lights on, turn on lights, turn lights on.

Do I create a group with all of the lights I want (say for the Master Bedroom) and include the Dot in the Master Bedroom in the group (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxk5_3xOkVjed1ZYQWxEdVNRMm1zNTRGSjBrdnQ3Z1kxSkk4/view?usp=sharing <-see screen shot)? Or is there a better way to do it.

BTW, can we not add attachments here?

Offline kenf

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Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2018, 12:47:26 pm »
go back to what I said I did:
"You can name each device.  I name mine after the room they are in, so I know where they are.
Then, you create a Group, named after the room you want to represent.
Then you assign the Device and lights/switches to that group"

You have 3 dots, lets say you have 3 rooms: kitchen, bedroom and livingroom.
Name each dot one of those rooms
Make a group for each of those rooms with the same name
assign the dot of the same name to the group
assign the lights to the appropriate group as per the room they are in.

For me, I named my lights after the room they are in (ex. "Kitchen Light") to help figure out what goes where and for calling them out specifically.

At this point, if you walk into the kitchen and say "alexa, turn on the light" all the lights assigned to the kitchen group will turn on because the kitchen Dot heard the command.

Now, to get every light in the house, that's what a Scene is for.  Make a scene called "Lights Out" and assign every light you have to it and set them to off"

Then you can say "Alexa turn on Lights Out"

Or make a Routine called "Lights Out" and have it activate that scene (nicer).



Re: 2 Things I would like my Echo to do...
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2018, 01:06:07 pm »
kenf: Thank you, now that I go back and re-read your original message it does tell me exactly what to do :)