I’m new to Sonos (Sonos Play:1) and so far, I’m pretty impressed. But, I’m not going to talk here about the basic music features and options available within the Sonos app. Instead, I’m interested in how I can use Sonos as a communication method based on triggers or activities in my daily life. I want Sonos to tell me, “it’s raining outside” or “you have an email from your wife.” This can’t be too hard, can it? Well, I found a way to to accomplish this with SmartThings. Though not the most elegant approach, it’s easy and covers a lot of the basic notification elements I’m looking for. Also, for this discussion, I’m not attacking voice apps like Tasker and AutoCast. These services attempt to accomplish the same thing, so check ’em out if you’re interested.
Using SmartThings with Sonos
Before moving on, connect Sonos to SmartThigns. Ok, Done? Let’s go.
Example: Creating a doorbell
The first thing you’ll need is a sensor or device that detects motion. Since we’re talking about a doorbell, this requires an outdoor camera or motion detector that can handle the weather. As long as it can be connected to SmartThings as a motion device, you’re good to go. For my example, I have an Aeotec MutiSensor 6 motion detector on my front porch that’s connected as a device in SmartThings. The motion detector isn’t really intended for outdoor use, but it’s surviving and not in direct sunlight or rain.
The trigger is ready: When someone walks on my front porch, the motion detector will be the ‘trigger.’
Let’s tell Sonos that the motion detector noticed someone on the porch (response to the trigger). Go into your SmartThings app and add the SmartApp, under music and sounds, called “Speaker Companion.” You’ll use this SmartApp to tell Sonos what to say out loud when a a trigger action has executed.
Within the SmartApp, just select the sound options (you can see here I chose “bell 1”). You can even set a custom phrase! Then select your Speaker device, Sonos, and the motion sensor device.
That’s it! There are a few other options, but that’s all it takes. Now when someone walks on my front porch, my Play:1 speaker plays the bell 1 audio track.
You can take this idea and extend it to many trigger devices within SmartThings. If you have a weather station connected to SmartThings (Netatmo), you can setup a SmartApp that triggers Sonos to say “it’s getting windy,” or “it’s starting to rain,” or “it’s crazy humid outside.” The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.
Coming soon: I’ll have another post on how I added more audio alerts through IFTTT.
Interesting concept. I have Arlo camera’s that have motion detection I need to look into whether I can use that to send a notification to my Sonos Speaker. This way I can get rid of my old dumb doorbells
yes, as long as you have Arlo setup in SmartThings, you should be able to do it with no problem. Another option in SmartThings is to use Big Talker App. I have Arlo speakers and that’s what I’m using. If Arlo picks up motion to camera 1, for example, Big Talker tells Sonos to say “Camera 1 picked up motion.”