Alexa app for PC is one of the most advanced and well-known virtual assistants in the market along with Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant. Born under the baton of the online shopping giant Amazon, Alexa has a huge catalog of compatible devices to control from it, a catalog that goes from the brand's own speakers to plugs, light bulbs and a Skills system that adds compatibility with smart devices of virtually any brand or type. This Skills system allows us to also control our PC directly with Alexa.
Skills are like “extensions” that are associated with our Alexa account and that add extra features of all kinds, but also compatibility and actions with other devices. There are Skills to control with Alexa the Smart TV of various brands, digital home and home automation systems and there is also a Skill for the TriggerCMD service that allows executing commands from Alexa directly on our computer.
Requirements to use Alexa app for PC
- Alexa: To use Alexa app for PC we will obviously need some device that has the Amazon virtual assistant, we can have an Echo, Echo Dot or different models of the Amazon itself, but also the Android or iOS mobile app, of fact, is necessary for your configuration. Alexa works, in general, any device on which we can install or run Alexa such as some smart TVs, smartwatches or third-party speakers.
- PC: We will also need, of course, a computer to control. This one can have as an operating system Windows, Linux or even MacOs.
- TriggerCMD: This is the service that will allow us to execute commands on the PC. It is free to control 1 PC and make 1 order per minute. If we need more it is necessary to pay 15 dollars a year.
When you put it in, a new computer will be added directly to the “your Computers” section on the web. From this panel, you can start and monitor the commands we have saved, but first, we must create them.
To do this, we have to go again to the GUI COMMAND EDITOR installed on the computer and we will see an interface with two test commands already preinstalled (to open the calculator and the notepad), we can delete them if we do not want them, and create new ones to the tasks we prefer.
In our case we will make a command that allows us to shut down the computer from Alexa, so click on ADD COMMAND and a window with different fields will open:
- Trigger: Here we will put the name we want to the command
- Command: the command to execute, in this case, we want the computer to shut down 10 seconds after executing it, so we put shutdown / s / t 10
- Ground: We can choose between foreground or background (in the background), the difference is that in background mode the command will be executed under the Local System account and will have full access to the PC, in this way, we can execute the command even if we have not started session or started the TriggerCMD itself on the PC. If we mark “foreground”, we can turn off the PC only when the program is running.
- Voice: It is the command we will tell Alexa to identify the command, we do not have to put it since Alexa this can be configured.
- Voice Reply: The answer Alexa will say when executing the command, although by default it does not apply.
- Allow Parameters: You can allow the command to add extra parameters (for example we could indicate the number of seconds of the shutdown)
Now we will give SAVE and the command will be saved and registered in our account. In the case of having selected Background, we must install the service by right-clicking on the TriggerCMD icon.
We can prove that it works as it should if we enter the trigger CMC website-> Your Computers-> the name of our computer-> view Triggers-> TRIGGER in the selected command.
In this case, when pressed, if everything has been done correctly, the computer will display a message and turn off.
As you can see, we can execute any command that the PC recognizes. In the BROWSE EXAMPLES button, we have several concrete examples, but it is possible to execute everything, backups, start programs, delete the navigation log, even start the browser with a web that we pass by parameter, etc. The possibilities are immense.
Configuring Alexa to control the PC
Now to we need to connect Alexa app for PC that we have already configured TriggerCMD for and can execute remote commands, we must associate it with Alexa to be able to tell it to execute the command, in this case, turning off the computer.
For this, we need to have Alexa app for PC installed on our mobile, either Android or iOS, and associated with our Amazon account
We must go to the Alexa menu and enter the Skills and Games area.
There, we will look for the Skill TriggerCMD and install it. In doing so, you will ask us to enter our username and password for the TriggerCMD web account, once done, Alexa will have access and we can proceed to the detection of devices.
This process will search for new devices compatible with Alexa when you have installed the TriggerCMD Skill, all the commands that we have created in the TriggerCMD application of the PC and, therefore, in our web account, will appear as a new device in Alexa.
The name it will have will be the name of the command, which in our case was “Off”. This way, if we tell the Alexa app for PC to start Shutdown, it will execute the action and shut down the PC.
However, we may be interested in changing the name of the device in Alexa in order to use a more natural command. In this example we have renamed the “device” to “My Computer”. this way, by saying “Alexa, turn off my computer”, Alexa will launch the command and turn off the computer.
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