WebCoRE asks a question, my voice response determines the action



I edited my first post. Thanks for catching that!


I guess since I’m using Echo Speaks, I need to find some way for the closest Echo to ask me the question. :frowning:

@tonesto7, is there a way to determine which Echo is talking to me, so I can put that in a global variable for this piston?


I have not used that app, but no matter which Echo asks the question, you can speak the answer to any Alexa in your house and it will work!!


Oh, I know…but if I’m using this piston in the bedroom, I don’t want the question to come from another room, nor from all the echos simultaneously, lol. That’s a little too “Stepford Wives” for me. :laughing:

[EDIT] Just realized…it would be hilarious to have Alexa ask random questions at random times:

"Hello, can I talk to you about Jesus today?

“You know what sounds good right now? Pizza. Would you like yours with pineapple?”

“Would you like to hear the value of Pi to the last decimal place?”


I might incorporate this into my “Garbage to the Street” reminder piston.

WebCoRE asking me, “Have you taken the garbage to the street yet?”, and me responding with, “Alexa yes” would stop the remaining notifications.


For those with an unpredictable work schedule, the good night piston can ask if I work the following day… and do different things depending on my answer…


Staying in the bathroom just a little too long, webCoRE could ask me if I need help…
(it could bring a laugh, or it could save a life, depending on the answer & the piston)

Man… The possibilities are endless!!


For those people really pressed for time, don’t forget that you can actually knock one syllable off the phrase by changing Alexa’s name to Echo. :sunglasses: (thereby saving yourself 25%, LOL)


Very cool! Thanks for sharing. Will gets it later with Echo Speaks, when the family wakes up.

I agree, getting this setup with Echo Speaks and incorporating a piston to where only a certain Echo talks when I am in the room will be really slick!

Feel free to keep sharing ideas and concepts, love the creative thinking.


I don’t yet know exactly how I will use this very cool function (thanks for it!).
However, I do imagine circumstances under which it might or might not be used.

Imagine I have indoor and outdoor lights plugged into smart plugs, in an Alexa group called ‘Christmas’. That group turns off automatically at 11:30pm.

I would not want any questions emanating from Alexa at that hour; the presumption is that it’s being turned off automatically at that time because we have all fallen asleep.

But what if I tell Alexa at 10:05pm: “Alexa, turn off Christmas”.
It’s a fair assumption that if I’m doing that, I might be going to bed.

So I would want it to a) know that I initiated the process with an Alexa voice command, and b) know that I’m within a “go to bed” timeframe, so that it c) knows that it should therefore ask me “you seem to be on your way to bed. Would you like the downstairs lights to be turned off?”

If there were some way to set a variable or something if a command comes from Alexa, that would be advantageous.


For the record, they can only be enabled in Webcore as “Relay Switches”


I love your line of thinking! This should be super easy to implement!!

If you turn off your Christmas lights by other methods besides Alexa, then I would use a Simulated Switch, that only Alexa turns on or off. WebCoRE can monitor that switch, and actually turn off (or on) the lights when the SimSwitch changes. This won’t stop you from changing the Christmas lights by other means, but whenever you use Alexa, a specific piston would run. That would also be the piston to add the few lines of code above to ask the “Are you going to bed?” question.

I don’t remember who it was I was talking to the other day, but someone was trying to make sure their dogs were fed twice a day, by using the door contact sensor on the pantry. In a case like this, we could program webCoRE to ask, “Are you feeding the dogs now?” whenever the pantry was opened during a certain time period… If we reply “Yes”, then subsequent pantry opens would not ask the question until the next meal time slot.

Just throwing out ideas…


SimSwitches definitely work in the top category called “Which actuators” as well…


Weird. I could only get it to work through relay.

Here’s an idea. I know someone who often forgets to take their medicine in the morning. At a certain time, this program can ask them if they’ve taken their medicine. If yes, then it stops. If no, then a friendly reminder. If there’s no response, it should wait and ask again until a response is given, or perhaps send a text message to their phone.


I love it!

Let’s keep these creative ideas coming!!


Oooh, I just thought of something. You don’t need the sim switch to actually turn off the lights; you only need it to be included in the Alexa group called ‘Christmas’.

The sim switch defaults to ON. If it ever goes Off, then it resets to ON in ten seconds or so. Ready for re-use.

Have an automation in ST that turns off those outlets at 11:30pm… the sim switch is not included in that automation.

Have the sim switch be turned off ONLY by the Alexa group. When it turns off, it triggers the question.


@Glen_King, I don’t get what you’re saying there.

I’m curious…what’s the point of the reset switch piston again? Why not just turn both switches off at the end of the main piston?


This could work, as long as you are only using Alexa to turn the lights Off (and not on), and you have programming in place to reset that SimSwitch.

Oh I get it now. If you use Alexa to turn on the Christmas lights, then you obviously are not going to bed, so no need for the question. Brilliant!


SimSwitch changes to ‘off’
Wait ten seconds
With SimSwitch
Turn on;


The value of this sim switch arrangement is that I might not be always turning all those lights on/off via the Christmas group. I might turn them on manually… if I do that, then the sim switch never gets flipped back to ‘on’. If it never gets flipped back to ‘on’, then ST would not know the command to turn them off came from Alexa. And therefore would never engage the ‘interactive’ questions.

Turning off the sim switch is the signal to Webcore to initiate the question.
It can’t do that if the switch is already off.

EDIT: I created the ‘AlexaSimSwitch’, and included it in all of my Alexa groups except music groups.
So now any time I ask for action on a group of devices, ST/Webcore can be flagged for a follow up.


since we’re using Alexa for this piston is there any reason why we wouldn’t use the Alexa virtual device creator versus creating it device in the in the IDE?


Feel free to try, but I won’t be able to troubleshoot that with you here. I have heard from multiple sources that creating Simulated Switches using third party apps is less than reliable.
(Thankfully, it only takes 2 minutes using the official IDE)