Alexa Custom Skill

See the Setup Guide for Account Linking Steps. After linking your Amazon Alexa app with the Simple Control Custom Skill, to give a Custom skill command to Simple Control, you need to start with the wake word, “Alexa,” and then tell Alexa you want the command to apply to Simple Control by using the Simple Control invocation name, which is “Simple Control.” Voice commands you want to pass to Simple Control using the Custom skill start:

Alexa, tell Simple Control to …

Which would be followed by the appropriate command phrase. The “to” is omitted in some cases. For example, to start an Activity called Listen to Sonos in a Room named Office, you could say:

Alexa, tell Simple Control to Listen to Sonos in the Office

Keep the following in mind when structuring your Custom skill command phrases:

  • For a quick overview of how to give a command to Simple Control via Alexa, say:
    Alexa, start Simple Control.
    When Alexa asks “What would you like me to do?” at the end, you can either say a command phrase or say “Alexa, cancel.”
  • The Alexa voice service can sometimes have difficulty with obscure words and phrases. We recommend using words and phrases that Alexa finds easier to understand. The more common and distinct the word or phrase, the higher the likelihood that Alexa will understand it.
    Suggested Room names: Bedroom, Kitchen, Office, Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room, Parlor, Theater, Kid’s Room, Kid’s bedroom, Baby’s Room, Baby’s bedroom, Nursery, Guest Room, Guest bedroom, Bath, Bathroom, Restroom, Basement, Great Room, Drawing Room, Gym, Garage, Library, Patio, Cellar, Hall.
    Recommended Activity suffixes (these would be preceded by the normal prefixes, like Watch, Listen to, Play, and so on): TV, Television, Roku, Dish, TiVo, Plex, Kodi, Sonos, Receiver, Music, Lights, Shades, Blu-ray, DirecTV, Fire TV, Fireplace TV, Kitchen TV, Apple TV, Mac, Camera, Power Off, System Off.
  • In your Simple Control configuration, try to avoid using Room or Activity names that are similar. For example, “Watch TV 1” and “Watch TV 2” in the same Room could reduce probability of success.
    Make sure to adhere to standard Activity names as generated by Simple Control, such as “Watch TiVo” or “Listen to Sonos”. Non-standard Activity names have a higher probability of not being correctly recognized.
  • Simple Control supports a wide variety of command phrases, so if one phrasing of a command does not work, try something similar.
    For example, “Alexa, tell Simple Control to start Listen to Sonos in the Office” could also be “Alexa, tell Simple Control to turn on Listen to Sonos in the Office” or you could omit the verb entirely and just say “Alexa, tell Simple Control to Listen to Sonos in the Office.”
    Command phrases do not have to be grammatically correct.
  • When referring to Rooms and Activities, use Rooms and Activities that are currently configured in Simple Control.
  • Not all command phrases need to specify an Activity and a Room. Instead, if the context of the command phrase is clear, the additional information does not need to be included.
    For example, if you give the command phrase:
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to set the current Room to Office
    Simple Control would set the current Room to the Office.
    Then if you wanted to mute the current Activity in the Office, the next command phrase would only need to be:
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to mute
    The Room context is clear, so it does not need to be part of the command phrase.

Common Custom Skill Command Phrases

Following are some examples of command phrase structure, with examples. Some examples do not follow the structure exactly, because variations work. Words in braces are placeholders for parts of your Simple Control environment (a Room or Activity, for example) or a desired value (Volume, for example).

  • Setting the Room: Alexa,tell Simple Control to set the current Room to {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to set the current Room to Office
  • Starting an Activity: Alexa, tell Simple Control to turn on {Activity}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to Listen to Sonos
  • Powering off: Alexa, tell Simple Control to power off {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to power off the Living Room
  • Muting: Alexa, tell Simple Control to mute {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to mute Home
  • Unmuting: Alexa, tell Simple Control to unmute {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to unmute Kitchen
  • Playing: Alexa, tell Simple Control to play in {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to play in Living Room
  • Pausing: Alexa, tell Simple Control to pause {Activity}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to pause the Kitchen
  • Next: Alexa, tell Simple Control to skip to the next chapter in {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to skip to the next chapter in Office
  • Previous: Alexa, tell Simple Control to go back a scene on {Activity}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to go back a scene on Listen to Sonos
  • Volume up: Alexa, tell Simple Control to increase volume
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to increase the volume to 20
  • Volume down: Alexa, tell Simple Control to decrease {Activity} volume in {Room}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to decrease Watch TV volume in Office
  • Setting the volume: Alexa, tell Simple Control to set volume to {Volume}
    Alexa, tell Simple Control to set volume to 25

If your Device supports volume in decibels, you can use two additional values:

  • {DBvolume}, which is a numeric value in decibels
  • {sign}, which can be “minus”, “negative”, “plus”, or “positive” (minus or negative is required for a negative value, plus and positive are optional)

For example, you could say:

Alexa, tell Simple Control to set volume to “20 decibels” or “minus 10 DB”.