Author Topic: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap  (Read 988 times)

Offline a-lurker

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Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« on: January 07, 2017, 10:47:47 pm »
Alexa (using Vera): a few examples of how Alexa hears the world. Useful when naming devices or scenes. Alexa appears to remember phrases (or perhaps the probability of their previous occurrence). Before changing device/scene names in Vera make sure to "forget" them first in the Alexa app. Otherwise they may haunt you:

Words considered the same:
Xmas, Christmas
Lamp(s), Light(s), Lighting
On, Open
Off, Close
"turn on XYZ", "switch on XYZ", "switch open XYZ"

Words considered not the same:
TV, Television

Optional words not always needed - depends on context:
The

Key words to avoid:
Stop --> may be interpreted as to "stop" an action

Words that default to other uses:
Trigger --> operates IFTTT
Pandora --> Alexa Pandora access

Words that you may expect to run a scene, but don't:
Run, Start, Execute

Words that may be misinterpreted when part of a scene name:
Standby --> Stand

Possible identification/sorting problem in scenes eg
Out of "Turn on TV start" and "Turn on TV stop":
"Turn on TV stop" is always heard OK but "Turn on TV start" always results in "I found several devices matching that name...". Saying "Turn on TV start" then works.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 02:01:55 am by a-lurker »

Offline Aegis

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 07:21:25 pm »
I've been working on re-configuring mine for several days now.  Commands have to be so unique it really is problematic.  I have had to completely change the commands for my tuner.  I had "Tuner" to switch the input to the tuner, "Tuner up" to increment to the next upper present and "Tuner down" to decrement to the next lower preset.  These labels will not work all together.  It is incredibly tedious.  I have used random words to make sure the scene is working and it works 100%.  You just cannot have words that sound alike even if you add totally different words.  "Channel minus" works just fine, but "Channel plus," "Channel addition" and "Channel increase" will not work with "Channel minus."  I use the line "Alexa turn <scene name> on" to trigger all scenes.

Offline Aegis

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 08:57:12 pm »
And you can't use your tuner input named "Pandora" because Alexa looks for its native Pandora app

Offline shelbydave

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 10:30:04 am »
I wish there was a way to clear Alexa of some of her reserved words.  I don't need her to tell me "Goodnight", but I'd like to be able to say "Alexa, Goodnight", and have her turn my lights off, play my music, and start a 60 minute sleep timer....   

Offline treetop777

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 07:34:28 pm »
I use the line "Alexa turn <scene name> on" to trigger all scenes.

From OP:  "Possible identification/sorting problem in scenes eg
Out of "Turn on TV start" and "Turn on TV stop":
"Turn on TV stop" is always heard OK but "Turn on TV start" always results in "I found several devices matching that name...". Saying "Turn on TV start" then works."

So based on your experience "turn <TV start> on" "turn <TV stop> on" (sounds more natural to me) would work?  instead of "Turn on TV start" and "Turn on TV stop"?

Offline Cor

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 05:12:42 am »
Interesting topic.

Most devices work for me ( lights , virtial switch-door lock) , but scenes are a nightmare. Also turn up volume for my audio system Alexa doesn't like , or changing radio channel via a scene for my Sonos. 

Renaming is a good option , but than remembering alle the commands :o :P

Cor

Offline pdp11

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Re: Alexa thesaurus with Vera for echo/dot/tap
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2017, 02:57:55 pm »
This is good information to know.  If any of the Alexa skill developers are reading this, I'd like to point something out:

I was using the independently developed Alexa skill by Martin Millmore: https://github.com/mmillmor/AmazonEcho-to-Vera

With this skill, I was able to name scenes like this:

"All Lights" (Scene to turn all lights on)
"All Lights off" (Scene to turn all lights off)

His code allowed you to say: "Alexa, turn all lights on" and "Alexa, turn all lights off" and it would resolve correctly to the appropriate scenes.  This is vastly more intuitive, both in terms of how you ask Alexa and in terms of how you name scenes.  In fact, I may be switching back to his skill for this reason.