Amazon Echo Plugin Now Available

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rscott posted this 11 April 2016

As announced in our Google group last week, the Amazon Echo plugin is now available. We would like a community driven beta test just so we can work out the kinks, add new phrases and refine the current speech UI.

During the beta, we'll give you a half off coupon toward the purchsae of the plugin when you leave a review for either our Android or iOS app. To receive your coupon, email us at support@axialcontrol.com with a link to your review.

Be sure to provide feedback here on the forums about your plugin experience. In the coming weeks, we'll use this information to enhance and improve the plugin.

Thanks everyone!

 

 

 

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joey10e posted this 11 April 2016

Not sure where to post testing updates. But here is my experience so far. I have added the Incontrol skill to Alexa, I tried to ask for the account to link and get the code but Alexa does not seem to recognize that. I am able to control only one light in my setup all the rest do not seem to work. Let me know if I am doing anything incorrect so I can test further.

rscott posted this 11 April 2016

Not sure where to post testing updates. But here is my experience so far. I have added the Incontrol skill to Alexa, I tried to ask for the account to link and get the code but Alexa does not seem to recognize that. I am able to control only one light in my setup all the rest do not seem to work. Let me know if I am doing anything incorrect so I can test further.

You should open your Alexa app on your phone then find the InControl skill. It should have an option to "link" the account. 

By the way, is there still somewhere that talks about the link code? I thought I had removed those instructions (as they are out-dated), but I must have missed a spot.

joey10e posted this 12 April 2016

Okay that's what I did, but yes on the Alexa app for the install instructions of the Incontrol skill.

ccstewartjr@yahoo.com posted this 29 April 2016

I just started using it today.  My biggest problem is it's recognition.  "Garage Car Door" is heard as "Garage Door" (which does not exist yet).  "Outside Outlet" is heard as "Side Door" (which does not exist).  I did manage to lock a Front Door Lock but It was on the umpteenth try and I really don't remember what I said.  I have not gotten the scene "Lock Down" to work yet either.

It seems to be trying tho.

Is there a list of phrases somewhere?

rscott posted this 29 April 2016

I just started using it today.  My biggest problem is it's recognition.  "Garage Car Door" is heard as "Garage Door" (which does not exist yet).  "Outside Outlet" is heard as "Side Door" (which does not exist).  I did manage to lock a Front Door Lock but It was on the umpteenth try and I really don't remember what I said.  I have not gotten the scene "Lock Down" to work yet either.

It seems to be trying tho.

Is there a list of phrases somewhere?

 

It's supposed to be open ended, meaning any phrase would "in theory" work. I suspect what you are running into is that Amazon is trying to match what you say to words we'd commonly hear - it could be that "Garage Car Door" isn't a phrase that's very common. I know, shot in the dark! :)  I do have the option of adding "hints" which might help - if you send me a list of your device names, I'll update the hint text and see if that helps Alexa out any.

ccstewartjr@yahoo.com posted this 29 April 2016

I think I've narrowed down the problem.  Alexa doesn't like a lot of words.  Looks like she is triggering on certain words or trying to find equivelence of the spoken phrase in two words in respect to the device name.  I'll play with it some more.  I don't know how many hints you can give it so it might be wise to save them to expand capability rather than customize for a single case.  Besides, I'm having fun. :)

ccstewartjr@yahoo.com posted this 29 April 2016

OK, I'm satisfied that it is one or two words.  Master, Bedroom Lights, and Door were all recognized but only groups of any two were recognized.  It recognized Outlet and Laundry but said they weren't in my profile.  Any one have an idea what and where this profile is?

rscott posted this 29 April 2016

OK, I'm satisfied that it is one or two words.  Master, BedroomLights, and Door were all recognized but only groups of any two were recognized.  It recognized Outlet and Laundry but said they weren't in my profile.  Any one have an idea what and where this profile is?

Hmm, I'm not sure what this "profile" is - can you tell me exactly what Alexa said in reference to it? In fact, how about you provide the full conversation and I'll try to replicate it on my end (include what you said and what she replies back with).

stbluesrul posted this 06 May 2016

This plugin looks really cool, but before I buy it, I see on the plugin page that you need to say:

-Alexa, ask InControl to turn on the bedroom lights.

Is it possible to just say:

-Alexa, turn on the bedroom lights.

rscott posted this 06 May 2016

Unfortunately no. 

That said, don't despair! Amazon just recently released a new "package" for developers that lets us tie into that level of integration. It requires that we move our servers over to Amazon though before we can take advantage of it and we are in the process of doing just that. Once we are there, anyone who owns the current plugin will be able to use the "more integrated" version as well. 

stbluesrul posted this 06 May 2016

Sweet!  Looking forward to that.  Do you have a time frame?

ccstewartjr@yahoo.com posted this 05 July 2016

I figured out what Alexa means when she could not find a "Device or Group" in my profile.  I get the same result if I don't say "InControl" as when it seems to misunderstand me.  I hope this goes away soon with the closer intergration.

tnamey posted this 16 September 2016

Any news on the full integration?  Itching to get this running!!  

nelis249 posted this 19 October 2016

I have not looked deep into the Alexa API other than skills. It would be interesting if it were possible for Axial to emulate a hardware appliance on the network. Skills require wake up words, e.g. Alex tell 'someskill' go do something. Where as physical appliances do not have this requirement. I have a Belkin Weemo outlet with the name CoolFan. I just say: Alexa CoolFan on (or off). With this there is no 'wake up' word for the device, it's just the device name itself. If Axial were to interface to the device side of things, then perhaps the integration could be pushed to devices themselves through Axial versus the wake up word. Again I have not looked into this API and unsure if it's even possible from a software perspective. It might require some type of Amazon hardware license agreement, or something other than just skill integration.

jonfrance posted this 26 October 2016

I just got this to integrate with.  I came on here to ask the same question here, which I see has been asked before.

Any news on the timeline for this?  I presume that this means the skill will be part of the "Smart Home" area rather than separate skill when this is done.

 

raingedockter@gmail.com posted this 17 February 2017

Any update on the timeline for this?

rscott posted this 17 February 2017

The new skill has been in review with Amazon since early January. It's a little unusual for it to be in review this long, so I've tried to contact them a few times and have had no response. I guess all I can do is keep waiting.

klimekt posted this 03 March 2017

What is the right phrase to control the thermostat via Alexa? If I say "Ask InControl to set thermostat to 65 degrees" it responds "I asked inControl to set thermostat to highest value possible", if I ask to "set thermostat to 65" it responds "set thermostat to 65 percent". Neither seems to work correctly. A list of available commands would be very helpful.  

rscott posted this 06 March 2017

Hey everyone, here's some good news - the new skill named "Axial Control" is available that uses the built-in Alexa home skills. To use it, find the skill on your Echo, link it to your account then allow it to discover your devices. Phrases are similar, but without the "Ask inControl":

  • Alexa, turn on the kitchen light
  • Alexa, turn off the office 
  • Alexa, set the office to 50 percent

Using this "native" skill does have some drawbacks; you aren't able to execute scenes or do any of the other things like set timers, etc.

For now, everyone's account has been given access to the Alexa plugin. Enjoy the free trial of the skill while we work out any bugs and kinks. After the trial, it will work for anyone who has purchased and enabled the Alexa plugin for their axialcontrol.com account.

Currently this is only available in the USA. We've got the same skill pending review for the UK.

 

klimekt posted this 06 March 2017

This works great! Way easier to say the commands. The only device missing from the discovery is my thermostat, is this by design?

rscott posted this 06 March 2017

Yes, we included just the easy devices initially so we could get the review passed. In theory, we can add device types without having to get another review, so we'll add them as we go.

klimekt posted this 06 March 2017

Thanks, looking forward to the updates already :)

tnamey posted this 08 March 2017

Is there any way to limit what devices Alexa can see? I have several overlaps with other "skills" like Hue that I don't want it to get confused. Plus a considerable number of virtual switches that might cause confusion.

cowinger posted this 08 March 2017

When you login to your amazon alexa account there is an entry on the left that says Smart Home. There the devices should be listed that alexa found. On the right side there is a word "Forget". Select that next to each of the devices you don't want alexa to control.

Hope this helps.

tnamey posted this 08 March 2017

Yeah but that's not a permanent "forget". Every time I add a new device and have Alexa look for new devices, I'll have to go back in and do that. Plus with the number of virtual devices I have it would take forever. 

cowinger posted this 08 March 2017

You are correct. I just asked alexa to discover devices and it came up with the original number of devices and ignored the ones I had told it to forget. This obviously is an Amazon thing and will have to be addressed to them.

tnamey posted this 08 March 2017

Well I run smarthtings as a secondary(mostly because I've been waiting for this full Alexa integration) and from the ST app I can pull up a list and select which devices Alexa can see. Alexa can only discover the ones I select. Ryan, does incontrol have an option like this?

jonnysax posted this 08 March 2017

Thanks!  this is great!  Will the ability for Alexa to see scenes be added eventually?

rscott posted this 09 March 2017

Thanks!  this is great!  Will the ability for Alexa to see scenes be added eventually?

As long as Alexa supports that natively. I think it does, but will need to look more into it.

Well I run smarthtings as a secondary(mostly because I've been waiting for this full Alexa integration) and from the ST app I can pull up a list and select which devices Alexa can see. Alexa can only discover the ones I select. Ryan, does incontrol have an option like this?

Yes, that sounds like a good option. It'll probably be implemented with the "hide from mobile" checkbox that you can see when double-clicking the device. Any objections there?

joe6602 posted this 12 March 2017

I implemented this and it was working great.  I was attempting to show it off to my wife this morning and the lamp I was demonstrating wouldn't work.  After investigating, I saw that Alexa had declared all of my devices to be offline this morning.  I don't know If Amazon is doing some work on their network/servers or what.  

In the Alexa app, I disabled and re-enabled the skill.  When re-enabled, Alexa says I hve no devices.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

joe6602 posted this 12 March 2017

Well, all the devices reappeared a few minutes later, and are working.  Hmmm...

tnamey posted this 13 March 2017

Would it be too much trouble to make it seperate? I would still like to see my hue lights in the axial app but don't want Alexa being confused when she sees the same device from hue and axial.

joe6602 posted this 13 March 2017

Well, all of my devices are showing offline in Alexa again this morning.

rscott posted this 13 March 2017

Well, all of my devices are showing offline in Alexa again this morning.

Mine also show offline -- I'm not sure how Alexa "polls" to figure that out. However, despite showing offline, I still have control over them. Do you?

rscott posted this 13 March 2017

Would it be too much trouble to make it seperate? I would still like to see my hue lights in the axial app but don't want Alexa being confused when she sees the same device from hue and axial.

Can you clarify what you mean?

joe6602 posted this 13 March 2017

I tried to command a light on and Alexa spoke an error message to me.  When I looked, all devices were offline.

tnamey posted this 13 March 2017

Can we make it separate from "hide from mobile"? Hue lights for example: I want to see them on my mobile Axial app but I don't want Alexa to be confused between native Hue hub lights (direct connection between Alexa and my hue hub) and the same ones connected through the Axial platform. I'm hoping Hue brings the ability to control light color via Alexa(they already have it for Google Home) and I don't want Alexa to get confused. I would block Alexa from seeing those devices through Axial but still want them to show up in my Axial app for convenient control. Make more sense? 

 

Basically I would prefer to avoid any conflict within Alexa and have the option to allow the native device platform to be the priority within Alexa. Hue lights and thermostats are the only examples I can think of right now but given that the world of home automation is ever expanding there could be more devices in the future.

joe6602 posted this 24 March 2017

Still having a heckuva time keeping Alexa working.  As of a couple of nights ago, I couldn't command any devices.  This evening, I "forgot" all of the devices and tried discovering them again.  No devices appeared.  I tried disabling the Axial skill and re-enabling and re-logging on to it, but still no devices.

 

Not sure what is happening, but am disappointed I have no devices.

rscott posted this 24 March 2017

Still having a heckuva time keeping Alexa working.  As of a couple of nights ago, I couldn't command any devices.  This evening, I "forgot" all of the devices and tried discovering them again.  No devices appeared.  I tried disabling the Axial skill and re-enabling and re-logging on to it, but still no devices.

Not sure what is happening, but am disappointed I have no devices.

Looks like the amazon portion of our cloud service crashed from the extra load caused by Alexa. Can you confirm that it's back up and working again?

rscott posted this 29 March 2017

We've made some changes the last few days that should help with the stability of the new Alexa skill. It also adds some additional commands dealing with scenes. 

Amazon puts some limits on scenes, mainly that only 12 are allowed total. They also "require" that no scene interact with any type of device that could impose a danger, such as a garage door, deadbolt lock, security system, etc (though we don't actively limit this yet, though it's coming soon). You can hide a scene from Alexa by disabling the "Show on Mobile" option.

 

 

joe6602 posted this 29 March 2017

Mine are all working again.  I thought that perhaps my WIFI extender was confusing Alexa, as I had one Echo on the subnet.  I removed the extender around the same time the improvements were made, I guess.  All is well now.  Thanks Ryan.

fredget posted this 07 April 2017

I purchased the plugin a while ago and periodically tried to get it to work.  I noticed and enabled the new skill.  I have yet to get Alexa to discover any devices.  I am running Pro.  I signed in to the cloud account.  Is there a clear way to troubleshoot this?

rscott posted this 07 April 2017

I purchased the plugin a while ago and periodically tried to get it to work.  I noticed and enabled the new skill.  I have yet to get Alexa to discover any devices.  I am running Pro.  I signed in to the cloud account.  Is there a clear way to troubleshoot this?

Make sure to follow the steps outlined on the plugin page, especially the part about adding your "server password" (if set) on your profile page. A second note is that there are two Echo skills; once of them doesn't use the "discovery" piece that's built into Amazon while the other one does. 

nigel1705 posted this 09 April 2017

Still no sign of the skill in the UK.

rscott posted this 10 April 2017

Still no sign of the skill in the UK.

Yeah, we had another rejection last week. Amazon is no help in figuring out what's going on, so I think what we need is someone actually living in the UK that feels very comfortable with computers and has a bit of technical background to help test things out. If anyone wants to give it at try, send me a PM or an email.

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Yokel posted this 13 April 2017

I'm having problems with this skill populating devices.  It picks up my scenes correctly, but no devices are discovered. Any idea of what might be going on? 

 

EDIT: I had an old password registered on my profile.  Populates correctly now, thanks. 

rscott posted this 13 April 2017

I'm having problems with this skill populating devices.  It picks up my scenes correctly, but no devices are discovered. Any idea of what might be going on? 

Can you make sure you've entered your server password on axialcontrol.com in the profile section?

rscott posted this 13 April 2017

I'm going to lock this thread as it's becoming a little combersome to navigate through. If you have further questions regarding Alexa, please start a new thread. 

Thanks!

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