Schlage Lock with Vera/Alexa?

#1

Hi all,

Have Alexa up and running now, but wondering what gives with the Schlage BE469 I have installed with Vera. Doesn’t show up in the list of devices for the Alexa Smarthome skill.

Anyone have any insight on it?

.//A.

#2

By default, the policy from Amazon’s echo sdk is to not allow voice control on locks. I got around this using scenes controlling the lock but the scene has to be added after the vera skill picks and chooses what scenes to add (vera skill follows the rules by not selecting scenes with restricted devices). I have not tried this yet, but you might also be able to do with with a virtual switch and PLEG.

I hate this policy because the entire point of vera is customization. By following Amazon’s rules, they have essentially broken the DIY customization model. My echo is deep inside my house and there is no way someone could scream loud enough to unlock my door. I also have rules in place that prevents the echo from being on unless my mobile, wifes mobile, or kids LG watches are near the home (geolocating logic and z-wave wall plug). As you can tell, they did not completely think this out.

#3

It appears a ‘secure’ skill is needed that requires you to bellow the PIN code as well as the open or close command. 8) From what I gather, Vera is working on that.

If you can’t wait on that, a bit of LUUP code to lock/unlock a Schlage lock in a ‘Open Says me’ or ‘Close Says me’ scene will do the trick just nicely.

#4

Ah, I see. Thx. Alexa rules restrict lock/unlock control and just allow information/status to be passed. But we can’t check status either with the current Vera beta. Maybe in next update. Btw, those “Works with Alexa” certs the manufacturers got may need a few asterisks…

I’ll futz with ifttt to see what can be done.

Decent read here: https://www.cnet.com/news/when-convenience-trumps-security-why-smart-locks-in-the-cnet-smart-home-make-me-uncomfortable/

.//A.

#5

[quote=“BOFH, post:3, topic:195765”]It appears a ‘secure’ skill is needed that requires you to bellow the PIN code as well as the open or close command. 8) From what I gather, Vera is working on that.

If you can’t wait on that, a bit of LUUP code to lock/unlock a Schlage lock in a ‘Open Says me’ or ‘Close Says me’ scene will do the trick just nicely.[/quote]
So if a “secure skill” relying on a PIN code is needed (makes sense for “unlock” although seems “lock” doesn’t need to be secure) and they’re “working on that” then what’s this confusing line item under “Fixes” in the latest beta firmware release notes???

Bug fixes for concurrent scenarios involving door lock pin codes
#6

Got this yesterday. This is functional in other hubs now apparently.

#7

You will notice it is only lock and lock status and not unlock. Unlock is the issue.
Alarm.com is the same way. You can only get the alarm status and you can arm to stay, but not disarm or arm to away.

If you real want to lock there is an easy work around. Create a scene and use a line of LUA to lock the lock instead of adding the device to the scene.

#8

If unlocking was allowed, anyone could stand outside your door and yell commands to Alexa to get the door unlocked. I’ve been known to stand on my porch and yell at Alexa to turn on lights, which works just fine. The liability of letting Alexa unlock doors is not something Amazon would want. If you come up with your own way to make it work, then shame on you if your house gets robbed. I would hope that the Vera developers would also do everything to prevent you from doing such a thing.

#9

Umm that is why I said if you to match functionality to “lock” the lock you can make a simple scene, I did not suggest making a “unlock” scene.

Here would be the code by way, change the 85 to be your locks device number.
Luup.call_action("urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:DoorLock1,“SetTarget”,{newTargetValue = “1”}, 85)

It is not recommended to create an Unlock Scene.
This is the same reason that Vera removed Mode support, because they can’t ensure you don’t put a secure device in the mode change behavior.

However if you want to set night mode for example the code would be
Luup.call_action("urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:HomeAutomationGateway1,“SetHouseMode”,{mode = 3}, 0)

Use at your own risk. Do not do an unlock. Do not use modes that could unlock or disarm your system as scenes can be invoke by Alexa from outside your house by yelling (as others have mentioned)

#10

Anyone know if/when Vera will get lock status support via Alexa?

[quote=“anthonyris, post:4, topic:195765”]Ah, I see. Thx. Alexa rules restrict lock/unlock control and just allow information/status to be passed. But we can’t check status either with the current Vera beta. Maybe in next update. Btw, those “Works with Alexa” certs the manufacturers got may need a few asterisks…

I’ll futz with ifttt to see what can be done.

Decent read here: https://www.cnet.com/news/when-convenience-trumps-security-why-smart-locks-in-the-cnet-smart-home-make-me-uncomfortable/

.//A.[/quote]

#11

I wish people would stop saying that. I tried this several times and my echo does not respond to my voice outside no matter how loud I yell. The echo sits so deep inside my house, there is no way anyone could wake it up. Secondly, you can turn off your alexa with geolocating and schedule power-on via a z-wave smart switch. My echo is not on when the family is gone and turns off at night when people are not awake. This entire claim is misleading and I just wish people would stop repeating it.

#12

I for one can yell at Alexa when standing outside my front door or in front of the Window (providing my dogs are not barking)
So even though it doesn’t work for you, it does work for me and others. Not so misleading or fake news after all.

But I do like your idea of switching her off when I am away. Easy enough to hook a zwave switch up to Home/Away status and I could create a scene so she’ll power herself down if I ask her. :slight_smile: I’d prefer to leave her on at night as she can hear me from the bedroom and if my dogs are snuggled up and I can’t see my alarm clock, she’s able to tell me the time.

#13

[quote=“BOFH, post:12, topic:195765”]I for one can yell at Alexa when standing outside my front door or in front of the Window (providing my dogs are not barking)
So even though it doesn’t work for you, it does work for me and others. Not so misleading or fake news after all.

But I do like your idea of switching her off when I am away. Easy enough to hook a zwave switch up to Home/Away status and I could create a scene so she’ll power herself down if I ask her. :slight_smile: I’d prefer to leave her on at night as she can hear me from the bedroom and if my dogs are snuggled up and I can’t see my alarm clock, she’s able to tell me the time.[/quote]

I never said it was fake news. Not sure where that came from. Misleading as in deliberately only telling one side of story which has been happening a lot on this issue. And you just proved my point - if it happens on some and not others, then let the owner make the decision. According to the FBI, people leave their traditional locks unlocked a lot. People do dumb stuff -we get it.

#14

In this cases I don’t think that is the issue. Clearly this is about money for both Amazon and Vera. no one wants the liability risk for that “what if” case. Since this is such foreign territory everyone is being cautious so they don’t get sued for leaving your door unlocked or not arming your system correctly. Lets face it in the US we are a little addicted to our litigation system. If you can think it, there is probably a less scrupulous person who is willing to test the litigation waters for it.

Alarm.com just changed the so so that now Arm Stay is not silent anymore but now does the beep count down. Who wants that? I am sure it was for legal risk to ensure that you understand your system was actually armed but it is completely ridiculous if I am home I don’t want to listen to a beep count down for however long it is.

Luckily since arming doesn’t require a pin I was able to create a Vera scene to arm stay silent. Works like a charm and uses less command words. Brilliant!

#15

Unfortunately ‘let the owner make the decision’ would work in eg Europe. In the USA, with the ‘I sue you!’ attitude, glut of lawyers and liability laws being what they are, I can understand Amazon and Vera locking this down to avoid being on teh receiving end of frivolous lawsuits from those after a quick buck. I do agree with you on it should really be the home owners decision and responsability. Using LUUP Alexa can lock my doors but I won’t allow her to unlock them. Although with my K9 roomies, good luck on getting in the house even with an unlocked door. 8)

I already have a lock status scene that uses Sonos to let me know what’s locked or unlocked so I just have Alexa call that scene and the Sonos plugin TTS function takes care of it.

#16

I was just reading the August connect documentation - from what I understand for you to be able to unlock their door locks with the echo, you have to unlock WITH the PIN number. Meaning you have to speak the pin number. How is that any different than typing it in ? (other than someone from a black helicopter hiding in the bushes like a Ninja with a microwave microphone).

I understand the lawsuit issue, but I will still repeat what I said - they did not think it out before making that policy. Speaking the PIN number is a solution. Maybe its a good policy until this evolves - I don’t know.

#17

Yup. It’s called a ‘secure’ skill. Seems Vera is working on one of those or adding that to the existing one. Still I can not see myself standing in the front yard yelling my pin code. I’ll stick with the LUUP code solution and only allow Alexa to lock the doors and not unlock them.

#18

lol. I didn’t see anyone in this forum advocate to talk to the echo outside of the home to unlock it. If you are outside and want it unlocked, just unlock the way you always do without the echo involved. There are several scenarios where someone would want to unlock the house, but I will just mention three.

  1. The front door is no where near where my family hangs out so when friends and family come over, it is nice to say “Alexa, unlock front door 1234” so my friends can come and join us in the theater room, but I cant say that - I have to say “Alexa, turn on front door” via virtual switch, PLEG, and a scene. Could I just do this with Vera and my phone? yes, but then we could do that with everything that Vera already does and makes all echo/vera related discussions pointless. Might as well just get rid of the echo/vera integration and go back to 2010.

  2. I have schlage lock on the doggy door in the garage. I want the echo to let the dog out so I say “Alexa, turn on doggy door”, but it would be nice to say “Alexa, unlock doggy door” without a bunch of hacks or even entering a pin number for this specific case. Once again, not insecure because the doggy door never had a traditional lock on it anyways. Its actually MORE secure now.

  3. The family is running around on the property going in and outside of the house doing all sorts of activities and it would be nice to tell Alexa to go into a mode that unlocks all doors around the house. I have this working right now with a scene called “relax”, but once again with a bunch of hacks.

It never crossed my mind to unlock the house with the echo outside of the house :slight_smile:

#19

So Alexa has unlock with a 4 digit voice PIN, but it is not supported by VERA. No one in support will even answer the question as to when it will be supported. I think one answer I got was for sometime last year (2018). I like the ability to unlock the door if I’m upstairs and don’t have my phone available.