Camera control with Alexa (for non-screen Alexa devices)

maybe-later

#1

I saw wise cams are now Alexa enabled, so I bought a few with the specific goal of being able to turn them off/on using an Alexa Routine so I don’t have to open the app and turn them each on/off one by one everytime I get home ( so I’m not receiving constant notifications or being filmed without clothes). Although I can add them successfully to Alexa using her skill, there seems to be no ability to tell her to simply turn them on or off, which seems like a fundamental function to consider them ‘Alexa enabled.’ Is there a time frame for this being addressed, or a work around I am not aware of (using scheduled timers are not adequate due to my random schedule).

Otherwise, they are a great value for the price. Thanks.


On and off
Wyze Cam v2 now works with Alexa!
Alexa Notifications
#2

The Alexa skill was only intended to be able to view the cameras on Alexa devices with screens. That’s why the on/off function is not available. I’ve added your request for this to Wyze’s feature request tracker, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

In the mean time, rather than turn each camera on/off one by one, you can set up tasks in the Shortcuts section at the top of Devices page in the app. Set up one task that turns on all cameras and another that turns them all off. That will give you one-button control for all cameras at once.


#3

Thank you for the quick feedback and the tip. Much appreciated.


#4

I wanted to add…, the intended use case for the request is so that on/off can be added to my existing Alexa routine. When I leave I tell Alexa ‘I’m leaving’, which results in the lights turning off, the thermostat adjusting and the alarm arming, all without touching my phone.

It would be very helpful if the cameras turned on as part of that routine, rather than having to pull out the phone, launch the app, and manually activate them. Hopefully the ability to turn on/off via Alexa will be recognized as valuable feature on the requests list. Thanks again.

 

 


#5

I bought it for the same reason. Had I realized it didn’t work as part of an Alexa routine I would have bought a different brand.


#6

You can turn them on and off with IFTTT with geofencing from your phone, then you wouldn’t have to do anything since it’s based on your location. I just got my cams today and also just started using IFTTT today and it’s super user friendly and easy to figure out.


#7

SAINTS75. Thanks for the suggestion, it is a good one, but unfortunately one I’ve tried previously and found the extra layers didn’t work consistently for me. Unlike lights, security cameras need to get activated without fail when leaving. Alexa routines work every time while also providing the benefit of visual confirmation it worked as I leave, rather than just hoping the IFTTT worked when a certain distance away. I’m also already running the routine when I leave/get home anyway due to many other devices being controlled, so it’s no extra work to use the routine.

DGRISSA… Yes I was disappointed to see the ‘not any time soon’ response too. For a new company, they’ve accomplished a lot in a brief time though and I am a fan of WYZE, so I’m hoping they get to it sooner than later. It’s the only hole in my otherwise completely voice controlled home automation routine of three dozen devices.


#8

In addition to on/off, it would be good to allow Alexa to control all the same functions that IFTTT is able, including those proposed here:


#9

[MODERATOR NOTE] I have moved this topic to the #roadmap section so that you may now VOTE for it. Please scroll up to the top of the page and click the VOTE button.


#10

It would also be useful if the Alexa app could recognize Wyze cameras’ motion detection and use that to trigger routines.


#11

There is several aspects that needs to happen before this could work:
1 - Alexa needs to support more primitive for cameras. For the moment, it is very limited and has only live streaming and 2 way audio. There are some on and off primitive that we can potentially already implement but it is limited. Nothing for the moment about motion, sound detection on/off. Again we might be able to add it as a special feature but it would not be standardized.
2 - Routine has to expose those primitives mentioned above but they are relying on standard intent for the moment. So anything that we do as a custom skill will not be exposed in Routine.

So the TL;DR, we are at the mercy of Amazon for the availability of this feature request. They have to do most of the work and we should have a fairly minimum amount of effort to make it happen.


#12

Just the on/off would be extremely helpful. The fancier stuff I think would be ok to schedule further down the road.


#13

What if you plug the cameras into a smart plug and use Alexa to control the smart plug?


#14

Couldn’t motion from the Wyze cameras be a trigger for Alexa routines using the contact and motion sensor apis?


#15

If you only have one or two cams, yes smart plugs are an option, but once you have 8 or 10 like many of us it’s really not practical to have to buy and manage 8 or 10 additional devices to do what the existing hardware could do with a change to the code.


#16

I also thought I could enable/disable or power on/off the Wyze Pan with Alexa. I would love to see this feature added so I can also tell Alexa “I am leaving” and include the power on feature as part of the Alexa routine. Also . . . I would love to tell Alexa to execute my Wyze shortcuts as well. I voted for this feature. Hope it comes soon. :slight_smile:


#17

This is all fine and good for motion, but what about sound? And if I’m home I’d rather the thing be COMPLETELY off, and not just the motion detect off.


#18

Is there a way to turn off the audio? I have it turned off in the Wyze app (iOS) but Alexa picks up everything and it’s pretty distracting on my Echo Show.


#19

That’s a good question. I don’t think you can disable the audio recording when recording the video.

Need more testing I guess…


#20

Hello @WyzeFrederik. I just purchased a Wyze Cam Pan to see if these devices could be used throughout my home. There are several areas that are disappointing, however it is definitely a great value. One aspect that requires drastic improvement is the Alexa integration, or lack thereof on non-screen Alexa devices.

The Alexa skill must allow us to control the cameras and their settings using Alexa Routines. For example, I say “Alexa, Goodbye” and Alexa turns off all my lights, music, and adjusts the temperature. The Wyze Alexa skill must be enhanced in a timely manner to support non-screen Alexa devices (a marketing win), allowing customers to turn one or more cameras ON as part of an Alexa Routine. This enhancement must also include a 30 second or customizable camera activation delay to permit us to exit the home as not to trigger a motion or audio event. This would eliminate the requirement to launch the Wyze App, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Of course the Wyze Alexa skill must also allow us to activate or control other camera settings using Alexa Routines, however turning cameras ON should be made a priority. Please implement this enhancement ASAP.

Another disappointment with the cameras is the lack of storage subscriptions to allow us to have more than 12 second clips. Wyze is clearly leaving money on the table by only offering a free storage tier. Some customers would happily pay for additional storage and longer recordings, but Wyze isn’t interested at this time.

The Wyze Pan Cam is a great value, however not having Two Factor Authentication (Google Authenticator or Authy), the total lack of Alexa support on non-screen Alexa devices, and the extremely basic recording and storage tier means that I won’t purchase additional cameras until these issues are resolved.

Thanks.