I've run into an issue on more than one occasion at my site with audio streaming and Smart Home features. I have more Amazon hardware than I'd like to admit at my home, and it seems to have been getting worse with integration than improving. Tonight's issue woke my wife, so now its time to ask for answers.
I have Echo Dots in every room, as well as Cubes and Fire Sticks. I also have a Show and Spot, as well as a Fire Tab 8 HD (Which I'd like to deploy more of, but the advertisements and screens being on is turning me away.) I have Echo Inputs deployed for streaming audio so I can still use the other devices for Alexa requests. I have dedicated amplifiers and speakers on the Inputs, not using Bluetooth. The idea is solid, but it is not working as it should. I really have to say your on the right track, but something is wrong in the integration and it should be addressed.
Tonight's issue has happened once before. I have an Input for my outdoor audio. From my phone I had been streaming audio earlier in the night while we had dinner outside. I figure it timed out and stopped playing, not an issue. Hours later I was in my basement and wanted to listen to some music. I made a request, the Echo responded with "streaming at another location, stream from this location?" I answer yes, music comes on, I happily go about. A couple minutes later my wife comes down, seems the Input for the outdoor speakers played the music as well, full volume at 2AM! This is not good. What if this was in a bedroom? I'd never know.
We've tried before to sync all the devices, sometimes they show up as available, sometimes they dont. You can't manage any of these devices from a computer (Windows), only from Android. If the end user cant have total control, why bother even making it possible to look at it. Fix it or scrap it.
There are so many possibilities that these devices can be used for, but you can't seem to complete the net to make it work. You need to focus on integration, you need to make it work. If it does and its 'complicated', build a management application so we can make it work. If you are under the assumption that it does, think again. I've got 30+ Amazon devices and I cant. Prove me wrong, show me how. I've got 70+ devices running through Home Assistant, they work solid. Stop developing widgets to fit everyone's desires and make it work together as it should. Focus people, you've got the right stuff, just looking in the wrong direction.
My plan was to take my home and make it phone, tablet, and voice controlled. My cars were in there too. Lighting, security, irrigation, audio, power usage, appliances. I wanted to prove it could be done with "off the shelf" hardware. Not working out as you sell it. Your keeping a vital part of it far to 'user friendly'. Most of us need advanced controls over this hardware. Node control. Home Assistant will steal your thunder, because it works. You might not think it matters now, but again your looking in the wrong direction.
For those of us that are using your hardware at a system level, you've got to drop the advertisements and 'locked hardware'. I'm not looking for a tablet to sit and read the paper, I need 10, maybe more. I dont want ads, and such on the screens while Im sleeping. I want to make all your devices work, and work fast. I dont have time to scroll through the ads to turn off my home alarm or view my cameras!
You need to think about this, and seriously. You want to sell a AI system? I've flashed half my hardware with custom firmware, and have held my breath on yours. You should want to keep it that way. Make it work. We need a platform. If you build it they will come.