Any idea when ADC is going to push the Amazon Echo/Alexa integration live? It’s been a couple months since they mentioned it on their blog and I haven’t seen any updates so far.
Alarm.com is working on integrating the Amazon Echo in with their existing services but there is no ETA as of this moment.
It looks like alarm.com has published an alexa skill. I was hoping for a direct integration, because it’s a little more convenient to say “turn on the lights” instead of “ask alarm dot com to turn on the lights.” I haven’t had a chance to play with it since I just noticed it, but it looks like it does have some lock and thermostat control.
I just spoke to alarm.com and they gave me a little bit more information.
You integrate the Echo with Alarm.com by signing into echo.amazon.com and using the credentials you previously set up with Amazon. Then from there you will navigate to a login for Alarm.com and use your ADC credentials and complete the integration process.
Functionality with the Echo and Alarm.com is fairly limited at this time. You can:
-Arm Stay your panel
-Lock your Deadbolts (no unlock)
-Operate Pan/Tilt presets on your cameras
-Close your garage (not open)
-Operate Zwave Lights (no Lutron)
They are currently working on increasing functionality with the Echo but no set time frame has been given.
So first, direct integration works for me, but strangely not my brother. I can now say “Alexa turn on the living room light” instead of “tell ADC…”
That worked perfectly for 1 day, but now when i try to control a light it just says “That command doesn’t work on device XXX”. Sometimes it will still turn the light off or on despite that, but clearly there’s a bug somewhere. Someone else also has this problem as it was mentioned in a review of the Skill on Amazon’s site. Any way to open a ticket about it or something?
Do you recall specific times where you told the Echo to perform a command and it did not work? Something that might show up in your history?
Also, is there a specific way you’ve asked the Echo to perform a command and it was successful versus a time where it did not perform the command? Were the questions you asked identical?
Ex. Does the Echo work better when you ask: “Alexa, tell ADC to do XYZ” vs. “Alexa, do XYZ”?
I am working with Alarm.com to look into this issue so any information regarding your experiences with the Echo could be helpful.
The Echo Alarm.com Integration Quick Start Guide is attached below.
Amazon_Echo_Quickstart_Guide.pdf (551 KB)
I’m having the same exact issues as Mark. It worked great for one day and then the next day you asked Alexa to turn on any z-wave light and she says “That command doesn’t work on device XXX”
And like Mark said if you have the light on she will turn it off. So there is a little communication going on between the Amazon Echo and Alarm.com.
To answer some of your questions Tyler:
I checked the History in Alarm.com and I see all 10 times I asked Alexa to turn on or off a light it has:
9:32 am - [Mobile] Command: Turn Off (username)
That explains why it’s only turning lights off and not on.
I use the command “Alexa, turn on Lamp One” or “Alexa, turn on Porch” just like I named the lights in Alarm.com and the same way it shows up in the Alexa app under Smart Home and Your Devices.
When I use the Alarm.com skill instead of Smart Home. I use the command “Alexa, ask Alarm dot com to turn on Lamp One” and she replies “I couldn’t find any Thermostats on your account” And that’s because I don’t have any z-wave Thermostats in my house. I check the Alarm.com History and there is no log item showing my request. I tried the same command using turn on and turn off and different lights and every time she replies “I couldn’t find any Thermostats on your Account”.
Oddly enough when I use command “Alexa, ask alarm dot com to lock the front door” or “Alexa, ask alarm dot com to arm system stay” both of those commands work great. And it is also reflected in the Alarm.com History.
I also noticed if you have lights assigned to the Favorites area of the Lights section of Alarm.com and then ask Alexa to discover devices she only discovers those under favorites and not the rest of them.
I do have support ticket in with Amazon. I’m dealing with Stephnie S who informed me “I’ve received a message from our development team confirming your experience with your Z-Wave lights via your Alarm.com hub service is a known issue and they’re working to find a resolution. They don’t have any further troubleshooting to provide at this time, but will be in touch with me soon.”
So some how we have a break in the communication between the Amazon Echo and Alarm.com. I hope they solve it soon. It’s so much fun to tell lights to go on and off. Smart homes are awesome.
As a new service being integrated, expect a hiccup here and there. It looks like this is a common issue, so it will likely get addressed pretty quick.
I hope they solve it soon. It’s so much fun to tell lights to go on and off. Smart homes are awesome.
There is something awfully fun about commanding inanimate objects with your voice.
I have not been able to test as much as I would like with the Alexa. How responsive/consistent is the voice activation in general? Does it recognize a wide range of voices well?
The Amazon Echo has 35,000 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 star rating. The product is solid. I like that they keep adding more and more features to her every week. Place it in the middle of the room and she picks up voices really well. That being said if the TV is turned up you may have to compete to get her to listen to you. I’m from Wyoming and my wife is from Tennessee and it has no trouble discerning those accents. All in all a handy product that will advance any smart home. I did add the Go!Bridge to speed up her response time. Once the communication is back and working with Echo and Alarm.com I will be impressing my friends in no time.
You’ve sold me. Time to put one in my own house.
Sorry about the long delay.
Tyler - yes… I just did it now so 2:57pm 5/7.
It seems to work fine when I say “alexa, tell ADC to turn on…”
Anytime I just say “turn on…” or “turn off…” it says “the command does not work with the device…”. Interestingly enough, it still turns the lights off very consistently despite the error message, it just won’t turn them on.
We just got an Echo, so jumping in here. As a short review, it is the best home voice interface I’ve ever used. Years ago I tried to implement home voice control completed with hard wired miss and speakers in multiple rooms feeding back to a computer with voice recognition running X10 control software. It was inconsistent and frustrating, and I gave up. Fast forward to the Echo - this is how the technology should work. The far field voice recognition has great coverage, WiFi/Bluetooth makes deployment so easy. We were turning lights on and off at setting the thermostat with our voices in less than 10 minutes.
Now the implementation. You can add 3rd party functionality to Alexa by adding “skills”. Amazon seems to have categorized some skills as “smart home” skills. Alarm.com is a general skill, not a “smart home” skill. My THEORY is that for direct control, i.e. “Alexa, turn on the bedroom light”, it needs to be a “smart home” skill. Other skills require a differentiating word - so we get “Alexa, tell Alarm.com to turn on the bedroom light”. This is how Alarm.com demonstrates the functionality in their own videos, so that suggests this may be working as intended.
For me this is unacceptable in the long run. Success of an automation system like this depends on seamlessness, and the extra “tell Alarm.com” is both inelegant and unintuitive. It’s interesting to hear that others got the commands to work before without the “tell Alarm.com” so perhaps the space is still evolving. If not, I will probably finally pony up the $99 for a Smartthigns hub, as that has a native “smart home” skill for Alexa.
As a side note: it took about 5 minutes to add my Logitech Harmony into the system via IFTTT, and enable “Alexa, trigger watch TV” to turn on and configure my AV devices for TV watching, etc. (It annoys me to have to say “Trigger” too, but hey I’m turning on and configuring all my AV devices with my voice, so I guess I shouldn’t complain)
For me this is unacceptable in the long run. Success of an automation system like this depends on seamlessness, and the extra “tell Alarm.com” is both inelegant and unintuitive.
I would agree, though not sure why it isn’t a smart home skill. I’ll do some digging to see what all improvements might be on the way for the process. Alarm.com products are fairly fluid and see improvements based on user input all the time.
I received a reply back from Amazon Echo Support, below is the message.
"Thank you for replying to my message. I’ve received another response from our development team members and they’ve confirmed the following:
“This is the result of the recent Developer Portal and Skills Marketplace migration. The short answer is for the customer to contact Alarm.com to request a new provisioning URL for the Alarm.com Smart Home skill, as that skill is not live and the only customers using it are those who are “beta testing”. Once they use that URL to re-link their account, everything should work.”
Can you please reach out to Alarm.com and see if they have a new Provisioning URL for you to use?"
So if I contact Alarm.com they are just going to refer me to you. Can you get the provisioning URL from them?
Keith, great detective work.
Jason, if you are able to get the URL and are not able to post the it publicly I would appreciate a direct message as well.
Ok I did send an e-mail to Alarm.com in the chance they could help. And surprise they did respond. Below is their reply.
Thank you for contacting Alarm.com.
We are currently working to integrate with Amazon’s Smart Home skill, but that feature is not currently supported, and at this time we do not have any information for when it will be fully integrated. For now, you will want to use the Alarm.com skill to control your devices through Amazon Echo. In order to set up this skill, follow the instructions below:
- Connect Echo to your Amazon account and your WiFi.
- Log into the Alexa App. User credentials are the same as the Amazon.com credentials.
- Go to Menu > Skills > Search for Alarm.com.
- On the Alarm.com skill, select “Enable Skill”
- Enter your Alarm.com account login credentials.
We apologize for any confusion this situation has caused. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
Of course now I need to find out why. When I use the Alarm.com skill instead of Smart Home. I use the command “Alexa, ask Alarm dot com to turn on Lamp One” and she replies “I couldn’t find any Thermostats on your account.” The joys of being on the bleeding edge of technology.
I am awaiting a call from an emPower tech there, but I anticipate the same response.
Bleeding edge typically has a wound or two.
I’ll see if I can get an ETA on being integrated into Amazon Smart Home Skill set.
I use the command “Alexa, ask Alarm dot com to turn on Lamp One” and she replies “I couldn’t find any Thermostats on your account.
Hmm, this happens every time or intermittently? Support is a little thin given how new it is, but let me see if ADC can take a look at this and find out if the issue is on their end.
The “I couldn’t find any Thermostats on your account." happens every time. Doesn’t matter what light I ask to turn on or off. And just to let you know I have no z-wave Thermostats in my house, so I’m not using that ability it Alarm.com.
Kevin - does the command appear correctly in your Alexa history? (To see if the command is being recognized correctly)
Also I might suggest removing and r-eadding the skill since it seems they’ve changed it on the backend since you first added it.