Enabling Guest Mode TTS feedback for Home Assistant
I have been using input booleans in my Home Assistant set up from the very start. They basically just become virtual switches that allow you to use Amazon Alexa voice control to trigger scripts and actions in Home Assistant. This process has worked exceptionally since the emulated_hue days. Now with the Home Assistant Cloud setup… Well, I am a huge fan. One input boolean I use quite often is Guest Mode. This mode puts the house into a less aggressive automative state. Much of the automation in my Smart Home is centered around presence detection; Do this if people are home, do that if people are not home kind of stuff. Guest mode is for those times when the immediate family, the people that the home keeps track of, are not actually in the house but other people are (guests, grandparents, babysitters etc.). Without enabling Guest mode, as soon as Stacey and I left the house, the lights would start shutting down and the alarm would set. We would also start getting all sorts of movement alerts from the house. Guest mode throttles these automations down since the assumption is that people are there.
Most if not all of the Home Modes are used for conditional tests to see if various automations are allowed to continue. This is why enabling and disabling them have such over reaching effects on the system.
Since this feature is super useful, I thought it would be great to have audio confirmation that Guest Mode had been set before leaving. So in the video below, I go through the exercise of writing that YAML script for my configuration. All scripts and commits can be found in my GitHub repo as well if you want to inspect the code more closely. Off camera, I also built a secondary automation that will turn guest mode back off when the house sees me come back home. It will also make the announcement that Guest Mode has been turned off and normally scheduled automations will continue. If you are curious about the voice we are using in the house, it is the Joanna voice from the Amazon Polly service.
Hope you find this useful and are able to incorporate parts of it into your own home automation systems.