Hacking the Amazon Echo Spot for Blood Sugar

In my last blog I showed how you can link a Dexcom CGM to an Amazon Echo via the SugarMate Skill. This time I have taken it a little further to see what can be done with the Echo Spot. The Echo Spot is like the Echo (a voice-enabled speaker) only it also has a screen. This means if we open up the SugarMate skill, we not only get told our blood sugar, but we also get to see the graph of latest results.

SugarMate Skill on the Echo Spot

Unfortunately, in the middle of the night, when you are sleepy and potentially have low blood sugar, remembering to say “Alexa, ask SugarMate for my latest reading” is a little too much. I was hoping to create a custom voice command but this proved impossible at this point. While there are custom ‘Routines’, these cannot be linked to skills and neither could Amazon Blueprints.

I did find a way to invoke the Skill without speaking though through “Tap to Alexa”. Tap to Alexa is activated through the Accessibility areas in Settings and is then configured through the Home screen by swiping until you get to Tap to Alexa and touching ‘Manage’.

Once there you can pick a command and link it to a named icon. It took me a while to get this set up right because it turns out Alexa has big problems with the word ‘SugarMate’ (one word). It works fine with ‘Sugar Mate’ (two words) though. So, by linking the command “Open Sugar Mate and get latest reading” to an icon, I could invoke SugarMate with nothing more than a swipe left and a tap.

Swiping Left and Tapping with the Echo Spot.

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