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Echo/Alexa message "A few things share that name" Looking for deeper understanding

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  • Echo/Alexa message "A few things share that name" Looking for deeper understanding

    It's only happened on a few occasions, but I sometimes get the "A few things share that name, which one did you want?" message. Now, I understand how this can happen if you have devices and/or scenes named similarly. However, I have ensured that every Insteon device I have has a unique name and that every scene is uniquely named as well, so that nothing is similar. That said, does anyone know what exactly the Amazon Echo/Alexa services looks at, or how it pulls in the information about your Insteon network? Is there any way to see exactly what it sees, with regard to your Insteon device/scene names? When the "few things share that name" message arises, I'd like to somehow know what the other names are that is confusing the Echo. This would really help me to troubleshoot the problem.

    I'm assuming that some part of the process is creating duplicate entries, but I don't know why or how this is happening. The only way I've been able to fix it is to completely remove the device from the Insteon Hub, re-add the device, then have the Echo re-discover devices. The whole process is a bit of a pain.

    Can anyone shed some insight on this? Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    My experience is similar including the steps I've taken. Nothing seems to help, except that the spoken varies. If I take action, then sometimes it helps, other times it doesn't. If I take no action, then sometimes it helps, other times it doesn't.

    But that happens with people, too. b)
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    • #3
      Hey PeterAquino ,

      You can see which devices and names are given to Alexa via the Alexa app. Note that we don't do anything extra to device names, we give them to Alexa just as they appear in the Insteon app.

      We have seen some cases in the past where Amazon accidentally created duplicate devices, and Amazon has been working to fix it. I encourage you to look at the Alexa app and see if this affects you.

      Another thing you might try: Instead of re-adding the hub, try having Alexa 'forget all' devices and do another discovery. Amazon removed the 'forget all' button from the mobile app, but you can still do it on a computer via the website. You can find the 'Forget All' button at the bottom of your device list here:

      After doing a 'Forget All', run another discovery.

      I hope that helps!


      • #4
        Sean (Insteon) Thanks for the clarification. When it happens and I check the mobile app or the website, I don't see duplicate entries in there. Perhaps the duplicates exist in some sort of Amazon information cache or something similar under the hood. At any rate, I thought I tried it before but I'll try to just Forget All next time and see if that does the trick.