Get more from your Echo with Yonomi

Get more from your Echo with Yonomi
14 Dec 16

By now I’m sure most readers of the BTN site will have caught the recent review of the Amazon Echo Dot by Paul Wright, if you haven’t had the opportunity yet then spend a few minutes to do that before reading how I have been using mine over that last few weeks..

Like Paul, I too bought the Echo Dot in the Amazon Black Friday sales and instantly liked the build quality, easy setup and out of the box intuitiveness. After a few hours of asking Alexa to play a particular song, tell me tomorrow’s weather and my daughter asking for jokes I was keen to see what other devices I could control with voice commands.. I did have a few issues with Alexa not understanding my questions if the TV was on or other people were talking but I’m sure that a slight re-position and familiarity of using it will resolve that. I don’t currently have that many IoT devices but I do have a few WeMo switches and two Sonos speakers. I recalled Ewen mentioning several Big Shows ago that an app called Yonomi which is basically a home automation app which links your devices and enables WeMo and Sonos and the Amazon Echo & Echo Dot to all play nicely together. I did some further reading and headed over to the Alexa app to get the ball rolling..

Setup is fairly straight forward, just open the Alexa app, go to the Smart Home section and search for the “Yonomi” skill which prompts an AppStore download of the Yonomi app. When its appears click the Enable button in the Alexa app to start the connection process, input/create your Yonomi credentials and “link” your device and Yonomi account. Once linked you need to run a discovery of your devices either by saying “Alexa, find my devices” or hitting the “Discover Devices” in the Smart Home section of the Alexa app. After a minute or 2 devices should start to appear and it’s time to play.. The Yonomi app has a growing list of supported platforms which includes Nest thermostats, Honeywell WiFi, Hue, Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn Radio, the Logitech Harmony Remote (a possible next buy for me), Sonos, Belkin WeMo and many more..

My WeMo switches were quickly discovered but I found I had to “wake” my Play 1’s via the Sonos app before they could be discovered. Once done I hailed out loud “Alexa turn on room lamp” and….. nothing happened… then the obvious realisation that the naming conventions I’d used for my WeMo switches mattered, for example I had to change “Lounge Lamp” to “Room Lamp” so the language was natural for how my family & I speak in our home. Once I had done this for each switch a simple “Alexa, turn on room lamp” worked perfectly and for the first time since opening the box my wife who is a total luddite said “now that’s clever”… Success!!

On to my Sonos Play 1’s where I had to read up on the Yonomi support pages on how to link these correctly but after a few minutes I’d created a “routine” in the Yonomi app to play a favourite playlist when I prompted Alexa with a specific command. Easy and it works well!

I really have only scratched the surface of the capabilities of Yonomi so far but with the ability to set routines for different situations in an IFTTT style, the options for the Echo/Dot and other IoT devices appear endless e.g. At 07:00 turn on bedside lamp, announce the weather and then play a favourite playlist…

Oh.. and did I mention that Yonomi is FREE !?! I’m really impressed the power of the app and for me it’s this app which will really enable me to embrace the Dot..

Learn more about Yonomi

Author

Chris Campion

Comments

Gary

Thanks for taking the time to write this up Chris. It’s a very useful insight to what’s possible and may have me starting to use more IoT devices, Yonomi sounds a great starting point with the Amazon points in the middle.
Pity Apple didn’t think of that when ATV4 came out !!
Cheers,
Gary

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