A couple of months ago I created a system that turns a “dumb” washing machine into a smart one for about $10. The washing machine would send the message to an Android device and Google Home as soon as the washing was done! It even came with a nagging mode to replicate the “wife experience”. There was one flaw, no Amazon Echo support, until now! It’s time to add Alexa washing machine notifications.
Alexa washing machine notifications
A couple of days ago I came across NotifyMe – a clever way to send notifications from NodeRED (or other systems – looking at you Home Assistant) to Amazon Echo as a notification. I’d recommend you to read more about Alexa and NodeRED before you jump further.
Adding Alexa washing machine notifications
I resolved the whole problem already for Google Home, so adding Amazon Echo to the mix it will be a breeze! Please read this post to learn how it works, as here I will provide you with a very basic rundown and instructions on how to add the Amazon Echo devices to the mix.
To enable Alexa washing machine notifications you need a Sonoff POW2 device. The unique feature of this Sonoff is the ability to measure the power draw. The device had been flashed with a custom firmware, and it can report the values back to NodeRED via HTTP.
NodeRED monitors automatically the power use (*and cost of electricity as a bonus) and clever maths is used to notify devices when the washing machine is back in the standby mode. There is no need to arm anything and the whole system resets when you turn the washing machine down.
It’s trivial what you have to do to enable the Amazon Echo notifications as all you need is 2 new nodes in the mix. One to create a custom message:
"Your washing machine has finished" and one to send that as a notification to NotifyMe.
Just remember to set up all the values as instructed in the GoogleHome Washing Machine Notifications. Deploy the changes (disconnect GoogleHome if you don’t need this) and you are ready to enjoy the smarted up washing machine!
Having both, Google Home and Amazon Echo, I have to say I’m not sure which method works better. On one side nagging mode is effective but sometimes annoying, on the other side I have one Echo Dot in the kitchen as well so I can simply dismiss the notification once the washing is out. Let me know what do you think about Alexa washing machine notifications in this Reddit thread.