Alexa Routine Triggers

Alexa devices now support Routine Triggers for the Blink SmartHome skill when used with Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), Mini, and XT2 cameras.

Routine Triggers are currently available for English language Alexa devices in the North American (US and Canada) region.

A Routine Trigger connects your Blink device to Alexa so that motion alerts can start a Routine. Routines consist of an event, and an action to be performed. You choose the device supplying the event (in this case a Blink device), the action to be performed (e.g. "Turn on Walkway Lights"), a schedule when the action is available ("Today until 11pm"), and the device where the result of the action is sent ("Walkway Lights"). In this way, when motion is detected by a Blink camera on the Walkway, Alexa will turn on the SmartHome lights on the walkway until 11pm,  avoiding triggers through the night from animals.

Blink cameras supply the Trigger event through the Blink SmartHome Skill, which must be enabled before you create a Routine. Enable the Skill in your Alexa app by following these instructions. Be aware that trigger events are not provided to Alexa when you use Local Storage to record clips directly from camera, or when you have no storage option active.

We have already created a useful Routine to announce camera activity. When motion is detected on a properly configured camera, your Alexa device says "Motion detected on the _______ camera." filling in the name of your camera using text to speech. The Motion Announcement Routine is available on the Camera Settings screen of the Alexa app. Learn how to enable Alexa Motion Announcements here.

To receive Alexa spoken alerts as soon as motion is detected, rather than after the motion clip recording is complete, set Early Notification to Enabled in the Blink app - for each camera that interacts with Alexa.

Attention: To receive motion announcements from Alexa, Blink Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), and Mini cameras must have the "Motion Recording" Camera Setting in the "On" position. Click here to learn how.

To create a Routine Trigger from Blink device activity:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Tap a Plus sign to create a new Routine.
    tap a plus sign to create a new routine

  3. Tap "Enter Routine Name", provide a name, and tap "Next".
    tap Enter routine name to name the new routine enter a name and tap next

  4. Tap "When this happens" to view the available triggers screen, then tap "Smart Home".
    tap when this happens tap smart home

  5. On the Choose Device screen, when you select a Blink camera to provide the motion alert triggers, you are sent to the choose a trigger action screen.
    detected

  6. Choose whether the trigger is an action being "Detected", or "Not Detected" - for a set amount of time after an initial event. If "Not Detected" is chosen, select an amount of time to wait after the initial event, to send the Trigger. If no new alert arrives within that time, the Trigger is sent.
    Tap "Next".
    detected not detected

  7. The New Routine screen displays the name you entered, and describes the trigger action.
    You can tap "Anytime" to create a schedule for when the Routine is active.
    If you do create a schedule, save and complete the schedule by tapping "Next".
    tap to set a schedule save and continue when you tap next

  8. Tap "Add Action" and select which supported action you wish to trigger.
    tap to add an action

    An example would be to tap "Alexa says" then create a customized response by tapping "Customised" and then provide a phrase to be spoken when the Routine is triggered, such as "Someone has entered the front door."
    tap to add the alexa says action tap to add a custom message

    After you enter the phrase, tap "Next" to save and continue to a confirmation screen where you tap "Next" to return to the New Routine screen.
    add a custom phrase and tap next to save confirm your custom phrase and tap next to continue

  9. Tap "Choose Device" to select which Alexa device will make the announcement.
    Choosing a device returns you to the New Routine screen.
    tap choose device to select the blink camera that will be used tap choose device to select which alexa device to speaks the alert

  10. From the New Routine screen, tap Save to complete the procedure, and you are sent to the main Routines screen where the new routine is visible.
    tap save to complete the routine creation and go to the routines screen the routines screen

You should see a temporary confirmation banner at the top of the screen confirming actions taken on Routines.

If you followed the example procedure in Step 8, the result of a motion detection is that your chosen Alexa device emits a chime and announces "Someone has entered the front door."

If you instead hear: "Motion Detected at the Mini, Someone has entered the front door." you can deduce that the Motion Announcements feature is active for the camera named "Mini" in addition to the routine that was just created.
Learn more about Motion Announcements here.


How to edit a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, and select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Tap the Routine that you wish to edit, make changes from the Edit Routine screen then tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner) to save and return.
    tap a routine to edit tap the back arrow to save changes



How to disable a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Select the Routine you wish to disable, then tap the Enabled toggle at the upper right of the Edit Routines screen.
    tap the routine you want to disable tap the enabled toggle to disable

  3. Return to the Cameras list when you tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner).
    tap the back arrow to save this setting and return to the home screen

You should see a confirmation banner at the top of the screen confirming actions taken on Routines.


How to delete a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Select the Routine you wish to delete and enter the Edit Routine screen.
    tap the routine you want to delete

  3. Tap the three dot menu icon at the upper right of the screen, then tap Delete Routine.
    tap the three dot menu icon tap delete Routine


You should see a confirmation banner at the top of the screen and be returned to the Routines screen.


Example Routines:

Here are four basic examples of possible Routines to get you thinking about how you would like to use this feature.

  1. A custom Motion Announcement for the camera named "Front Door".
    Trigger: Motion is detected by the camera
    When: Any time (unscheduled)
    Action: Alexa could say: "intruder detected at the front door"

  2. Turn on Front Porch smart light when motion is detected.
    Trigger: Motion is Detected by the Front Door camera
    When: All days of the week, between 7pm and 5am
    Action: Front Porch smart light is turned on (it remains on until turned off)

  3. Turn off Front Door smart lights when no motion is detected for 30 minutes.
    Trigger: Motion Not Detected for 30 minutes on Front Door camera
    When: Any time (unscheduled)
    Action: Front Door smart light is turned off

  4. Alert me if no activity on Dad's kitchen camera by 10am.
    Trigger: Motion Not Detected on Dad's Kitchen camera for 10 hours.
    When: All days between 8pm and 10am
    Action: Alexa says: "Check on Dad."


With the powerful integration of Alexa with smart devices and Blink cameras, your options are truly far ranging.



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