Alexa Skill to display Lovelace dashboards on Echo Show

Hi everyone,

I was recently looking for a way to display Lovelace dashboards on my Echo Show 8. My first attempt was to use the Silk browser, which can be opened by saying “Alexa, open Silk”. Because Silk always opens the previously visited page, it is possible to create a routine (that is invoked by e.g. “Alexa, open Home Assistant”) that then executes the command “Alexa, open Silk”. Although this simple approach works, it comes with one major downside: Since Silk always opens the previously visited page, you can effectively only display one dashboard with this method. I was hoping that there is a possibility to bookmark pages in Silk and to open those bookmarks via voice command. But as far as I know this isn’t possible on the Echo Show.

This is what I tried to solve with a custom Alexa skill. I had a look into the “Alexa Presentation Language” and found the OpenURL command, which, as the name suggests, can be used to open a URL on the Echo Show. The basic idea of the skill is as follows:

  • The skill is called with Alexa, tell <name of skill> open <page>
  • The skill then opens http://<homeassistant-url>/<dashboard-url>/<page> using the OpenURL command

The way the skill is invoked is a bit unpractical, but I have set up routines to execute it with simpler commands. As a bonus Alexa also does not respond with “Here is Silk”, which was really annoying me. Here is a demo how I use it:

This approach works well for me: I was using this for about 9 months, and I am really happy with the reliability. If some of you are interested in the skill, I could publish it here with some instructions. Instructions how to set this up can be found here:

If something is unclear, feel free to ask for help :grin:

I’m still not sure if there is an alternative/easier way to achieve this, so if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them :slight_smile:

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I am intrested. Please share! thanks!

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Yes. Good work. Please share

very interested

Glad you like it :grin: I am going to write down instructions how to set this up. I will post the Github Link here as soon as I am finished.

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Very interested indeed. This looks like great work, keep it up!

I’m done :tada: Here is the link to the GitHub repository:

If something is unclear, feel free to ask for help :grin:

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This is excellent.

Linking this in with the Alexa Media Player allows screens to be displayed via automation too, which is great.

Thanks for your work on this, really appreciated.

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Anyone found a solution for hiding the top bar in silk yet?

Everything else works like a charm, but the top bar is really annoying.

i love it! Can you do a video tutorial? Thanks! or help me with videos o snapshot?
Thanks!

I’m glad you like it! Have you already tried to follow the instructions on Github? I really tried my best to be as detailed as possible (e.g. almost every step has a screenshot). If you have problems with a specific step, please tell me. I will gladly help you and improve the respective section in the instructions.

Hi, your tutorial was great and it worked for my echo show. But is it possible to make it work on my Fire Tv. When I make it run on the fire tv it turns the screen black and goes back to where it was.

Thanks!

Hi, sorry for the late reply. Great that the tutorial worked for your Echo Show! Unfortunately I have no idea if the skill could be adapted to make it work on the Fire TV and since I don’t have one, I am also unable to test this.

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I love it! Brilliant. Looks great on my Echo Show 8 :sunglasses:

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Thank you so much for this guide, it has certainly simplified getting the dashboard to display on the Echo Show.
Would you be able to create a Blueprint that calls the skill and keeps calling it every 9 minutes so it doesn’t time out back to the home screen? There is already a blueprint that does something similar for the Google hubs here: Cast and re-cast a lovelace view to a Google Hub

This can be done very easily. Assuming you have created a routine that opens the skill, you only have to set up an automation in Home Assistant that triggers the routine every 5 minutes with Alexa Media Player (using a time pattern trigger). Here is a blueprint for an automation that does exactly that:

Open your Home Assistant instance and show the blueprint import dialog with a specific blueprint pre-filled.

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Thank you aldadic great job, clean, efficent.

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this is great however i am confused at the least step where you set Skill testing is enabled to “Development”. it works but eventually it goes back to off and I always have to go back in test tap and change it to development. this defeats the purpose. How do I get it to stick?

That’s really weird. I tried to recreate the issue (even on a different account), but I couldn’t: Once I set Skill testing is enabled in: to Development, it stays that way. In general, I don’t think that this issue is related to the skill but rather is a problem of the Alexa developer console. I really hope that this was only temporary. Do you still have this problem?

Totally agree with you, all works like a charm but it would be great if someone knows how to hide the browser search bar.