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Trigger Alexa Routines And Make Alexa/Echo Announcements From IFTTT

Trigger Alexa Routines From IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) allows you to connect Alexa to 100s of other apps and software services.

Trigger IFTTT With Voice

Up until now you were limited to starting IFTTT applets using your voice…

For example, you could say, “Alexa, trigger find my phone”. Alexa would then tell IFTTT to trigger an applet which rings your phone.

Or “Alexa, trigger vacuum cleaner”. This would tell IFTTT to communicate and start your smart vacuum cleaner.

IFTTT Within A Routine

For some time now, you’ve also been able to add IFTTT actions within an Alexa routine.

For example, you could have a routine which is triggered by security camera motion detection which then actions an IFTTT applet to post the time and date in a Google spreadsheet.

Cool.

But, how about reversing the flow and triggering an Alexa Routine when something happens in IFTTT?

What if every time I got a new follower on Twitter I wanted my smart home lights to turn blue?

Or, what if every time I received an SMS, Alexa could read it out on my Amazon Echo?

Up until recently this hasn’t been possible.
Now with Voice Monkey, you can.

IFTTT As An Alexa Routine Trigger

It’s easy to start triggering routines based on events generated in IFTTT using Voice Monkey.

Detailed instructions below, but in short, simply sign up to Voice Monkey, create a Monkey (virtual doorbell), create your IFTTT applet and use Voice Monkey as the action. Simple!

How To Trigger An Alexa Routine From IFTTT Using Voice Monkey

It’s super easy.

Step 1 – Sign up to Voice Monkey

Firstly, follow the getting started guide and sign up to Voice Monkey.

Step 2 – Create a Monkey

Next, create your first Monkey.
A Monkey is a virtual doorbell which can be used as a trigger in an Alexa Routine.

Name is whatever you like e.g. “Kitchen Lights Monkey”.

Create Monkey

Step 3 – Create Your Alexa Routine

It’s time to create your Alexa Routine.

Go to the Alexa App. Click ‘More’ in the menu, then select ‘Routines’.

Click the ‘+’ icon to create a new routine.

Enter a name, e.g. “Kitchen Light”.

In the ‘When This Happens’ section, select ‘Smart Home’ and then select the Monkey you created in the previous step.

In the ‘Add action’ section, select what you want to happen when the Monkey is triggered. For example, switch on the smart bulbs in the kitchen.

Your Routine should now look something like this…

Alexa Routine Screenshot

Step 4 – Create Your IFTTT Applet

Assuming you’ve already signed up to IFTTT and know your way around, now is the time to create your IFTTT applet that will trigger your Monkey and therefore your Alexa Routine.

In the ‘If This’ section of the IFTTT applet, select whatever service you wish to trigger the applet. For example, SMS, Email, Twitter etc etc

In the ‘Then That’ section select the ‘Alexa Voice Monkey’ service and select the ‘Trigger Monkey’ action.

You’ll be asked to pair your Voice Monkey account with IFTTT by signing in using Amazon.

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be able to select the Monkey you wish to trigger from the dropdown list.

Save and activate the IFTTT applet and that’s it!
Each time the IFTTT applet runs, it will trigger the Monkey which will trigger the Alexa Routine and turn on your kitchen light πŸ™‚

Using IFTTT For Text-To-Speech Announcements

With Voice Monkey you can also send dynamic Text-To-Speech (TTS) announcements to your Alexa devices based off ‘ingredients’ within your IFTTT applets.

For example, I could create an IFTTT applet which announces whenever a new video is uploaded to a specific YouTube channel.

Another cool applet you can create is making your Echo announce every time you get an SMS message, or an email…including reading out the contents of that message and who it’s from!

So, how do you make announcements on your Echo from IFTTT?

Follow steps 1-2 above.

For Step 3, create an Alexa Routine with your Monkey as the trigger (as above).

However, in the ‘Action’ part of your Alexa Routine, you must open the Voice Monkey Skill……to do this, add an action, go to ‘Skills’ and then select ‘Voice Monkey’.

Importantly, you must then select the Alexa device you wish to hear the announcement from.
If you want to hear the announcement over multiple Alexa devices, simply set-up a new routine for each device. Use the same Monkey as the trigger but just change the ‘From’ device for each routine.

Finally, set-up another IFTTT applet (as step 4 above), but instead of using the ‘Trigger Monkey’ action, use the ‘Announcement’ action.

You’ll be able to select the Monkey you wish to use, as well as the text to announce. Within the text, you can add IFTTT ingredients such as the message from an SMS or the message from a Tweet.

Ideas For IFTTT Recipes Using Alexa Routines + Announcements

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

Turn on the lights if a camera detects motion

If you have a security camera (or other smart home device) that might not be supported as a trigger with Alexa Routines, then you can use IFTTT to trigger the routine.
For example, when a camera detects motion, run the routine which switches on the lights and announces “intruder alert!”.

Turn your smart bulbs blue when you receive a mention on Twitter

Use the Twitter service in IFTTT and your Hue smart bulbs in the Alexa Routine to turn the light blue when you receive a Tweet.
Hint: add the wait command in the Routine before changing the colour back again.

Announce if the weather changes

Use the Weather Underground service in IFTTT with the Voice Monkey ‘Announcement’ action to announce when the current condition changes to rain/snow/cloudy/clear.
Hint: in the Alexa routine, use the timings settings to prevent the announcement being made whilst your asleep πŸ™‚

Announce if you are tagged in a Facebook photo

Use the Facebook service in IFTTT with the Voice Monkey ‘Announcement’ action to announce when you are tagged in a Facebook photo.

What do use IFTTT and Voice Monkey for?

Let us know in the comments below!

16 Comments

  • jamie 30 March 2021

    I sit in my home office most of the day and I was looking for a way to use the Alexa devices around my home to communicate with family members in other rooms.

    The solution was a combination of Telegram, IFTTT and Voice Monkey. Now I can send a message to my Telegram bot, tag it with the room (#kitchen) and Voice Monkey will announce the message from that room. Incredibly simple yet genius πŸ™‚

    • Christian 30 March 2021

      Hi Jamie,

      Ha, that’s a great idea!

      I really need to look into Telegram…heard good things!
      How does the Telegram Bot work exactly?

      Thanks for sharing!

      Christian

    • Kynder 27 July 2021

      Please add voice monkey to Amazon Brazil!
      Don’t worry about translations, you can put in Spanish, Brazilian folks will understand!

  • jamie 30 March 2021

    Hey Christian,

    So you connect Telegram to IFTTT fairly easily. Once that’s done, you can have an ifttt applet that listens for keywords sent to your IFTTT bot. The bot just shows up in your list of telegram contacts.

    So If I send my bot a message ‘#kitchen hello.’ that triggers the applet, which will trigger a webhook that passes the location (kitchen) and the message (hello) to voice monkey via your API. That is then hooked up to announce to my devices through alexa routines.

    It’s a solid system, all made possible with Voice Monkey. Thank you for that.

  • Kris Petrin 28 April 2021

    I would like to use Ifttt triggers webhook for automate green insteon sensor status to have alexa announce status changes dynamically using monkey.

    what is the best way to do this. I am thinking create an ifttt applet that is triggered by webhook then action is voice monkey. Is there an alexa app step too?

    • Kris Petrin 28 April 2021

      Let me try to elaborate. Insteon sensors do not surface in alexa. So I have linked Insteon to Alexa/Automate Green. Automate green can link to ifttt through a web hook that then surfaces in the alexa app. But i cant get a voice trigger to dynamically say if the door or window is open or if the leadk sensor detected water via voice. Will Monkey be able to add that in or somehow replace the need for ifttt using the json variables and the http from automate green like the ifttt web hooks.

  • Rich 12 May 2021

    Hey Christian

    Love the voicemonkey skill. One question: When I push an mp4 video to my Alexa device it cuts off playing Spotify, and doesnt resume afterwards. It doesn’t do that for images. Is there anyway I can get it to resume what I was listening to again after the doorbell?

    Thanks

    Rich

    • Christian 9 June 2021

      Hi Rich,

      Unfortunately the way Alexa and Echo devices works at the moment, there is no way, sorry πŸ™

      Christian

  • Sachiko 21 May 2021

    I am looking for this and found it!

    But, it’s not available for the user with Amazon.co.jp account…..

    I am using spotcam doorbell as an intercom chime, and would love to have Alexa announce when it’s ring. It is for grandma who is not capable of understanding echo or saying “Alexa!”on her own. Other wise, I can use Alexa drop-in though….

    I am willing to learn, but I have no idea how to write the Alexa skill from scratch either……

    Please help!!!

  • Noorleen 6 June 2021

    I am having a bit of trouble with my monkeys that are not being displayed as a option in the Alexa app, when I am setting my routine up and in the smart home icon, there is no reference to any monkey I have set up.
    I have linked the voice monkey skill into Alexa too
    Any advice?

    • Christian 9 June 2021

      Hi Norleen,

      Sometimes Alexa has this problem, it seems to be a bug at their end.
      For other users simply leaving it until the next day has worked. Perhaps re-start your router and your phone to see if that works?
      If not you could try deleting your account form the dashboard and starting again?

      Good luck!

  • Gregory 9 June 2021

    Really very unfortunate that you have not developed your application in French language and that it is not available for amazon.fr

    • Christian 9 June 2021

      Hi Gregory,

      We are always looking for someone to help translate the Skill, if you are interested?

      Christian

  • Mike 10 July 2021

    Hey Christian,

    I remember you said somewhere that you were looking at this… Did you ever get anywhere with actionable notifications on Alexa?

    (Also – another use case. I’m currently creating duplicate routines for all of my smartthings webcore routines in node red in Home Assistant (So I have a standby for if/when webcore is taken offline). – I’m using voicemonkey’s ability to play a different voice so i can tell which system is running an automation.)

    Regards

  • Fernando 28 July 2021

    Good evening Christian.
    Any chance for Brazilian Portuguese support soon?

    This skill seems great! Can’t wait to be able to use it to connect Alexa routines to my IFTTT!

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