Additional types for switches
Wemo switches can now be configured with the type of "light". This allows for grouping lights per room. Saying "Alexa turn on the lights" will just turn on the lights in the room with your echo device for example. This is great, but switches can also be hooked u to things that aren't lights. I'd love to be able to say "Alexa, turn on the fans" and have it work per/room as well. Any chance we could get additional types added to this smart home feature?
Jonathan Wallace commented
I will preface this request by highlighting that it's somewhat of a duplicate of this request -
However, the author of that request didn't provide much detail, at least as it pertains to the guidance given for making requests. Hopefully I can.
Context & Details:
I recently moved from Google Home to Amazon Echo and plan to replace my almost 10 Home devices with Amazon ones. Personally I find the capabilities of the Amazon speaker to have surpassed that of Google. With that said, there are a few challenges that I find 'irk' my experience.
I love the grouping capabilities within Amazon's smart home controls, especially the ability to turn the lights on and off within a specific room, contextually. With that said, having things other than lights in a group causes challenges.
In my family room for example, I have various lights, but I also have a ceiling fan and fireplace which are both smart controlled. Asking Alexa to turn on the lights also turns on the fan and fireplace. While the fan and fireplace are not considered lights so to speak, they are switches, which Alexa includes in the turning on of lights action.
This issue could be solved in two ways as I see it:
1. Providing alternate device types in addition to lights and switches. By having device types such as "fan" or "appliance", it would allow us to differentiate devices from lights. I also guess that logic would have to be written to not include these devices in commands such as "turn on the lights"
2. Introduce a device flag that allows a device to be excluded from specific commands; such as "turn on lights etc". This option could have additional benefits such as being able to exclude outdoor (landscape) lights from being included in commands such as "turn on all lights". I have permanent holiday lights on my home and asking Alexa to turn on all lights, also turns on the Holliday lights and while this looks nice, my neighbors don't really like it in the middle of May :o)
NOTE: While these options should certainly be enabled at the skill code level, therefore allowing vendors to specify the types, they should also be configurable in the app, therefore allowing users to change them too where a vendor has opted not to implement the available functionality.
While the impact of this request is high as it appeals to my personal use case, I don't know it has a direct impact on Amazon business beyond a better experience.
One of the very reasons I am moving from Google to Amazon is because the experience of Google is simply not evolving (or innovating) as fast as Amazon and features such as this, make this move easier.
With this in mind, I would expect other users to follow suit as having personally witnessed the frustration from other smart-home users within the Google forums, without response or consideration for change.
I wanted to include a little contextual reference driving this request. I am currently a Google Home user making a switch to Amazon mostly due to a lack of innovation by Google. I currently have a large number of home devices which I will be replacing.
I am also a substantial smart home user with almost every switch and light in my home being smart enabled.
Thanks for taking the time to read this request. While it would substantially affect my own experience for the better, it would also make it easier to evangelize the platform and attract other smart home users who are venting their frustration over the in the Google forums.