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V3 skill new features


bmercier

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Our Alexa Skill V3 was just released earlier today.

 

Here's the main features & changes

1 - Proactive state update; this will allow to see the state of your devices on the echo mobile app in real-time.
2 - A/V Support
3 - Color bulb support (Aeotec, Fibaro)
4 - Slow devices like lock will no longer return an error, unless it's very long.
5 - Locks will tell you if the lock is Jammed, or if the battery is low.

6 - Thermostat behavior in Auto mode is completely different. 

 

Proactive state update:

This will require the live update to be active. When you go to your Amazon Echo device list, make sure to enable the "Live update".

NOTE: This is not working at this time. - Stay tuned.

 

Color bulb support:

When you have a Z-Wave color bulb, you get 2 Z-Waves devices in ISY with an address of ZW999_1 and ZW999_186. If you intend to use colors with Alexa, please use the device ending with _186 device in ISY Portal. 

 

Thermostat Auto mode behavior:

When in Auto mode and requesting a specific temp, the V2 skill attempted to change the appropriate setpoint. Now the V3 skill will change BOTH setpoints, one below the requested temp, one above the requested temp.

 

How to enable the new skill:

In order to use the new skill, please disable the V2 skill, forget all devices, then enable the V3 skill and discover your devices. Otherwise, your devices will contain duplicates.

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Our Alexa Skill V3 was just released earlier today.

 

Here's the main features & changes

1 - Proactive state update; this will allow to see the state of your devices on the echo mobile app in real-time.

2 - A/V Support

3 - Color bulb support (Aeotec, Fibaro)

4 - Slow devices like lock will no longer return an error, unless it's very long.

5 - Locks will tell you if the lock is Jammed, or if the battery is low.

6 - Thermostat behavior in Auto mode is completely different. 

 

Proactive state update:

This will require the live update to be active. When you go to your Amazon Echo device list, make sure to enable the "Live update".

NOTE: This is not working at this time. - Stay tuned.

 

Color bulb support:

When you have a Z-Wave color bulb, you get 2 Z-Waves devices in ISY with an address of ZW999_1 and ZW999_186. If you intend to use colors with Alexa, please use the device ending with _186 device in ISY Portal. 

 

Thermostat Auto mode behavior:

When in Auto mode and requesting a specific temp, the V2 skill attempted to change the appropriate setpoint. Now the V3 skill will change BOTH setpoints, one below the requested temp, one above the requested temp.

 

How to enable the new skill:

In order to use the new skill, please disable the V2 skill, forget all devices, then enable the V3 skill and discover your devices. Otherwise, your devices will contain duplicates.

 

I'm having a problem with the thermostat now. The behavior I'm experiencing is as follows: when the temperature is 65, and I say "Alexa set thermostat to 67°, she says "Auto's keeping the temperature between 65 and 70". She does not however change the current setpoint as requested. Before, if the house was 65 degrees, auto setpoints at 65 & 70, and you made that command, the heat setpoint would be raised appropriately, and the house would rise to the requested temperature. Currently V3 seems broken. Am I missing something? Is there an updated Wiki for V3? This was working perfectly on V2.

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I'm having a problem with the thermostat now. The behavior I'm experiencing is as follows: when the temperature is 65, and I say "Alexa set thermostat to 67°, she says "Auto's keeping the temperature between 65 and 70". She does not however change the current setpoint as requested. Before, if the house was 65 degrees, auto setpoints at 65 & 70, and you made that command, the heat setpoint would be raised appropriately, and the house would rise to the requested temperature. Currently V3 seems broken. Am I missing something? Is there an updated Wiki for V3? This was working perfectly on V2.

 

The behavior you are experiencing with V3 is as expected.

 

When in Auto mode, requesting a specific temp will set both the heat and cool setpoints. If in Fahrenheit, the deadband is 5 degrees, with heat being -2 and cool +3 from the requested setpoint. Those were the Amazon recommended numbers.

 

As an alternative, I would suggest to:

- Ask Alexa to increase temp by 2 degrees, which will increase both setpoints (just like in V2)

- Set the mode to Heat or cool. When requesting a temp, the appropriate setpoint will be set accordingly.

 

In Auto mode, I understand that a 5 degrees F deadband is a bit high. perhaps we could reduce that to 3 (-1 and +2) or 2 degrees (-1 and +1). But for sure, to be consistent with other Alexa enabled thermostats, Amazon is expecting our skill to work that way. We would not have passed certification otherwise.

 

Benoit

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I went back to V2. That auto thermostat logic is terrible. Also, the programs appearing in "Devices" works better for now in V2 because you can select on or off for routines. With V3, programs appear in "Scenes", and currently can only be turned on. (this however may be an Alexa app bug). The added features in V3 are not important to me, and in the things that are important to me, V3 took a step backward.

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The behavior you are experiencing with V3 is as expected.

 

When in Auto mode, requesting a specific temp will set both the heat and cool setpoints. If in Fahrenheit, the deadband is 5 degrees, with heat being -2 and cool +3 from the requested setpoint. Those were the Amazon recommended numbers.

 

As an alternative, I would suggest to:

- Ask Alexa to increase temp by 2 degrees, which will increase both setpoints (just like in V2)

- Set the mode to Heat or cool. When requesting a temp, the appropriate setpoint will be set accordingly.

 

In Auto mode, I understand that a 5 degrees F deadband is a bit high. perhaps we could reduce that to 3 (-1 and +2) or 2 degrees (-1 and +1). But for sure, to be consistent with other Alexa enabled thermostats, Amazon is expecting our skill to work that way. We would not have passed certification otherwise.

 

Benoit

Where I live, we could be on heat and AC in the same day. My setpoints are directed from the ISY multiple times daily. Sure, mode changes could also be directed multiple times a day, I just don't see the advantage of the V3 thermostat auto logic.

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Proactive state update:

This will require the live update to be active. When you go to your Amazon Echo device list, make sure to enable the "Live update".

NOTE: This is not working at this time. - Stay tuned.

 

 

Any update on when this will be working?

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Is there a device type for fans in the new api?

 

Doesn't look like it. I would like to see "fireplace" too. If it was just iconography that these types drive, then it wouldn't be a big deal to me (I have no intention on using the Alexa app as a control device). But because the implicit targeting feature appears to key of these types, it would be nice for the list to be more exhaustive. I have put in a suggestion with the Amazon, and I encourage others to do so, as well. They are generally responsive to the loudest voices, although as the product matures it seems it takes longer and longer development cycles to see new features.

 

I will point out that the API does allow for multiple categories to be provided for each ISY device or scene (endpoints). This could also make for some interesting possibilities. There is surprisingly little technical information on how the "implicit targeting" feature, as they appear to be calling it, works and very little discussion on it on the Alexa developer forums. Here is the current list of values for the displayCategories attribute supported by the v3 API:

 

ACTIVITY_TRIGGER
CAMERA
DOOR
LIGHT
OTHER
SCENE_TRIGGER
SMARTLOCK
SMARTPLUG
SPEAKER
SWITCH
TEMPERATURE_SENSOR
THERMOSTAT
TV
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