TLDR: Rename the cameras using the PRODUCTION wyze app (DON’T USE THE BETA APP)
Edit: or just re-save the names of your cameras in the production app as @angus.black has discovered.
I originally had PD announcements (PDA) on all three of my v2s. It had eventually dwindled down to only one camera. I didn’t think much of it since I’m not using that feature but I wanted to try it out again so I went about trying to get it back. I tried a bunch of stuff like unlinking/relinking the skill, re-discovering devices, deleting cameras from the Alexa app and renaming cameras in the app without luck. All of this I was trying from the current android beta app 2.16.24.
I wanted to try the non-beta app but didn’t want to leave the beta on my google account so I grabbed my wife’s old phone that shares my credentials and had an old production version of the android app installed 2.15.21. Using my wifes old phone I renamed the cameras that had lost PDA (added spaces to the camera name). I went back to the alexa app on my phone and BOOM PDA is back for all cameras. I changed the camera names back to the original names from the wyze beta app on MY phone and BOOM PDA GONE. I go back to wifes old phone add the spaces back to the camera names and PDA comes back.
I have no idea if this fix will work using the current production app, only that it works for me using android 2.15.21.
@angus.black @carverofchoice I recall you guys having this issue as well.
@WyzeGwendolyn I’m not sure the best wyze employee to tag with this but I’ll bet you have a good idea who that might be.
@kjay Hey, this is a great find! Thanks for posting.
I am using the non-beta v2.12.29, which, for me, was the last version to work right on my Fire HD8 tablet.
I discovered something else, you don’t even have to rename the cameras. All you have to do is go into the name section and tap Save with the original name and it works.
All 8 of my cameras have PD abilities in Alexa now.
Are you guys saying it was somehow beta related all along? How did that not come up before?
Very glad you have a working solution! Yay @kjay.
I just discovered a downside. I was able to view my Driveway cam for >3 hours a day on my FireStick without dropping out. Since I renamed it to get PD in Alexa it drops out after 10 minutes of viewing.
I’ve just renamed it in the beta app. PD is gone from Alexa. It still won’t display for over 10 minutes.
Alexa is a strange and capricious beast and we engage it at our peril.
Thinking a little, perhaps the beta app is hitting a pre-production / development environment on the Alexa side that is not subject to their normal user restrictions (like the timeout).
@Frederik might have some insight on this.
This is a brilliant discovery guys! Great job! I will definitely be testing this out soon. I am so happy to get this resolved. Thanks for tagging me.
Hopefully it will help someone at @WyzeTeam to figure out what the hiccup is and find a permanent coding fix too. I remember reading that both the Wyze team and Alexa team were totally stumped even when on the phone with each other. This is a great lead.
Sorry but I’m not ready to close the book on this quite yet. It can’t be as simple as “just use the production app, pal”. Can it?
Naw, one of them has some kind of flawed code that needs fixing. I’m just saying that this find gives them a lead on how to produce a coded fix. I’m happy that there is at least a workaround for now though.
Like @kjay did, I’ll probably use a spare phone with a different google account not signed up with Beta, maybe even with an Android emulator logged into a secondary google account (or I could just use my Wife’s phone and log in to my Wyze account there and do it all). then save the names of the cams in there and check if it fixes Alexa triggers. It shouldn’t be necessary to do this, they should find a normal fix, but I can live with workarounds while they figure stuff out.
It is very weird that something so innocuous would have this effect. On the bright side it doesn’t seem like it would be very hard to fix and the workaround isn’t too much trouble.
It seems it would only effect beta users who have named a device. I doubt Wyze will fix it.
Just sideload a non-beta version on an old device rather than creating different Google accounts.
I wonder if your ability to watch Wyze vids longer than 10 minutes was due to the same glitch, or a similar one. I had always heard that 10 minutes was the limit (well, outside of using something like TinyCam to stream through the FireTV), so was surprised you were able to go for hours. Perhaps it’s a trade off…allow PD triggers but lose long term streaming, or lose long term streaming but gain PD triggers. Have you confirmed/tried “fixing/breaking” it back to allow you to have long term streaming again?
Where’d you get that idea?
Are you talking to yourself again?
Yep, Yep, Smart @Customer with an interesting idea. It could also just be some rogue bug in the Wyze programming that will either transfer over to the production app, or is something inherently only in the code specific to the Wyze Beta app in general that never get transferred to the production app (there are theoretically many subroutines that are only ever in the beta app).
But it could be something weird on the Alexa Side too, like you mentioned. The more info, the closer everyone can narrow down the cause.
I tried going back to no PD in Alexa by renaming the camera with the beta app.
PD went away but the time limit remained.
I may try setting up the camera like a new one but it’s not one that’s easy to get at.
We have a couple of bugs that we are currently addressing around Alexa and Person Detection. Notably, we have been advertising Person Detection in Alexa for all cameras all the time.
Alexa team complained that it is setting a false expectation that person detection is working all the time even when the camera is not enrolled in Person Detection on the Wyze side.
We are working on making the advertisement in the Alexa synchronized with the actual ability of the device (ie. no PD in Wyze app means no PD in Alexa and the other way around).
The engineers are working on that very topic right now. It’s a top priority for us to get that resolved because one of the certification is at stake and we could get in trouble for having the WWA logo on the v3 box.
The support for PD should not have disappeared during that process and I’m not sure why it did. I have actually filed a specific bug about that about 1 week ago. Engineering told me they are looking into it.
For the timeout, one of the thing that we have not talked about is WebRTC. We have silently started to deploy it to selected cameras ((ok 150K of them so far). WebRTC does not have time limitations because it is peer to peer. This means no round trip to the cloud when you are looking at a camera in your house on a TV or Echo Show device. It means also that there is (almost) no delay between the camera and the display (sub 1s instead of about 3 to 5s with previous RTSP solution).
Thanks much, @Frederik, it is always great to have real information.
I wonder if that little Take Photo snapshot discrepancy (JPGs instead of PNGs) is attributable to a change to WebRTC.
This doesn’t seem explain what I am seeing.
I had at least one V2 thst would display in Alexa for >3 hours but did not have PD in Alexa.
The camera has PD enabled in Wyze.
Changing this camera name, and 4 others, using a non-beta Wyze app enabled PD in Alexa but the camera would not display for more than 10 minutes.
I removed the camera from Alexa and scanned for new devices. The camera was discovered again. It, and the other 4, no longer have PD in Alexa.
Did this camera have and then lose WebRTC just because I renamed it?
That’s what I assumed when I read it, but after thinking it through, I am not so sure.
That’s interesting about the WebRTC basically allowing purely local communication to Alexa (and probably Google). I love that, because I technically have a metered bandwidth (1TB/mo). I wonder if that also means that with WebRTC we would be able to connect locally in general, like to Home Assistant, or if it would be limited to just the Smart Displays. From a quick search, sounds like the same API could used to allow basically anything to have access. like straight to our phones, etc too. I mean, possibly even instantaneous notifications from cams and sensors and stuff if we’re on the same WiFi (well, cams still need some stuff to go through the AI…but if they ever give the local/Edge PD on the V3’s like they said they’re working on, that could make initial analysis faster).
I do wonder how they can
silently started to deploy it to selected cameras ((ok 150K of them so far).
and do that for some cams, but not all cams with the same firmware. I’d think it was a special beta firmware, but he just said they did it silently, so people don’t really know…interesting…like they tell the firmware to only allow it for cams in a certain IP address range, or with a certain mac address range or something. How else do you do that for different cams with the same firmware?
Regardless, that is really exciting stuff about WebRTC.
It is too bad that people are getting confused about the Person Detection capabilities through Alexa. You’d think it would be obvious that it would only work if you activate the correct service through Wyze first, but lots of people don’t know how all the details work when they first buy. Still, what we are talking about here is when we have PD capabilities active and working with Wyze, but it still doesn’t show up on Amazon. Hopefully that gets resolved while they’re working on this issue in general.