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Trigger Alexa Routines And Make Alexa/Echo Announcements 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 🙂

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 🙂

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!

4 replies on “Trigger Alexa Routines And Make Alexa/Echo Announcements From IFTTT”

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 🙂

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

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.

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