Connecting Alexa directly with Logitech Harmony Remote HUB.
Spend some time connecting my home media center remote to alexa,
http://sushilks.blogspot.com/2015/07/connecting-alexa-to-logitech-harmony.html This was made much simpler to execute because of the app framework (thanks to Matt Kruse). Here are some example commands Direct commands to devices Alexa tell remote to increase volume by 5 Alexa tell remote to decrease volume by 2 Alexa tell remote to mute Alexa tell remote to turn the TV off Activity commands Alexa tell remote to start Movie Alexa tell remote to start Music Alexa tell remote to power everything off
Very cool! I've done something similar, but instead of a Harmony Hub, my "remote" is the HTPC + IR Blaster. So the commands/logic goes to the HTPC, and it uses the IR Blaster to send the IR Signals to control devices (TV, Soundbar, Cablebox). I'll post a video soon.
The work here still requires some hacking, you will need a small computer at your home to execute the pass through to the Remote. If you have one already set up and your remote control is on the network it's relatively easy to connect it. I think amazon should directly connect with the remote control devices it will be much easier. Its' probably just matter of time before that becomes a reality.
As far as just starting and ending an activity with harmony and Amazon echo, Ive been using a belkin wemo switch with ifttt. I named the wemo switch "television". Created 2 recipes in ifttt; if wemo switch is on, then start activity (harmony, ex/ watch tv), if wemo switch is off, end activity. With echo: say "Alexa, switch on television(wemo switch)", ifttt trigers recipe and starts my watch tv on my harmony. Usually in under 5 seconds.
Hi Jim, The code will not work on the AWS Lambda server as it needs direct access to the Harmony HUB. It's possible to expose the harmony hub to internet but I would not recommend it as there are lot of security concerns with that.
Hi Edwin, Yes what you described seems fine, The harmony remote allows for bit more control so that you can do more things like change tv input, adjust volume etc. Echo is directly able to discover the WiMO devices, so I would recommend connecting them directly to echo instead of going through IFTTT. I have several WiMO switches in my house as well, I use them for controlling some lights and other equipments. They are very responsive and you can also group them to do simultaneous activations with a single command.