Start an Echo playing music, but with conditions

Background and use case: To keep the wife somewhat interested in my home automation stuff, I created a pretty simple rule that starts playing music (via Spotify) on her Echo Tap at a certain time in the morning. Using a virtual switch in SmartThings, I created a simple SharpTools dashboard that allows her to choose on her smart phone whether or not she is going to get up for work the next day. If the switch is “on” (she is getting up for work), then the rule started playing the music at the specified time. (I then used Life360 presence to turn it off when she left the house.)

That function seems to be broken, and I suspect it broke with the loss of Echo Speaks.

In trying to come up with a work around, I can create an Alexa routine that fires every weekday at the preset time. But that does not take into account the “is she working” virtual switch. And I would rather we not wake up to music at an indecent hour if we don’t have to.

I’ve tried to find a way to invoke an Alexa routine within SharpTools or SmartThings, or a (virtual) device that can trigger a routine to run. Am I missing something obvious somewhere? Or, should I just wait it out for the “Echo Speaks Lite” smart app?

@Jim_Westland, yeah unfortunately the Echo Speaks was deprecated by SmartThings last month. It was very likely to be the cause of this broken automation. For now, I’d suggest to create a Virtual Alexa Switch (see the community developed device handler.). In your SharpTools rule, you can keep the condition (work or not), but just replace the Echo Speaks action with the action of turning this Virtual Alexa Switch on, wait a few seconds and then off (so it can be triggered again next day) if you wan to play the music.

Then in Alexa, create a routine to be triggered by this Virtual Alexa Switch’s contact changed to open and play the music for 30 minutes. (When this Virtual Alexa Switch is turned on in SharpTools rule or SmartThings, it will change its contact status to open. And the reason why to use this for the Alexa routine is the routine can only be triggered by the contact sensor, but not the switch.)

Thanks for the pointer on that Alexa Virtual Switch. I think that will do the trick for this application.

It’s kind of dorky having to use fake switches and simulated sensors as workarounds, but it is still better than nothing.