Each of the three smart home notifications that you can review in the introduction of the following video were made possible by using a SmartThings Edge compatible virtual switch. The notifications were triggered following the detection of a smart home event. The welcome home notification was triggered by the detection my presence. The smoke alert notification was triggered when my First Alert smoke sensor detected the presence of smoke. And the water leak notification was prompted when my ST leak sensor detected the presence moisture.
My Alexa App is connected to ST as a dedicated voice assistant. Because of this integration, the ST App is able to share the status of a virtual switch with my Alexa App. These virtual switches were used in Alexa routines to trigger custom announcements on my Echo Devices.
Coming up, I will tell you how to set up one of the routines so you might learn the basics of how the ST and Alexa Apps work together to produce custom notifications. The automation routine which I selected to demonstrate is the Water Leak Notification routine.
So what hardware is needed for this water leak notification automation? First you will need a ST or Aeotec Hub.
Additionally you will require at least one Amazon echo device.
You finally, you will need a water leak sensor.
All of the aforementioned hardware can be easily sourced from my Amazon Store.
Before I show you how to construct the ST and Alexa routines, we must first download the utility that is needed to create virtual switches. To download, tap on the following link: “vEdge Creator Channel Invitation”. The link will take you to the vEdge Creator ST Community page. There you will follow the instructions to load the driver to your hub. Let me show you how this is done.
Once the vEdge Creator has been installed to your hub, you must go to your mobile app and select Add device and then Scan for nearby devices. This will result in the creation of a new device called ‘vEdge Creator Version 2.5’.
With your virtual switch created, we can now use the switch in our ST and Alexa routines. Reference the provided video at marker 9:54 to see the routine I created in SmartThings.
Now let’s open the Alexa App so I can show you how to use the virtual switch to trigger the water leak notification… See video marker 11:21
The three notifications which I presented are just of few of the many uses for virtual switches. I use a virtual presence switch to start and stop Echo Guard. I also created a nighttime virtual switch which I use to check my exterior lights and verify that doors and blinds are closed. So I think that you can see that the uses for virtual switches are many and varied.
So that’s it. You now have the basic steps and the resources to begin creating Edge compatible Virtual Switches.