Voice Control Direction

What voice activated home automation interests you the most?









6
4
0
6
2
0
0

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:16 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Voice Control Direction

I've been struggling with where to concentrate my efforts. I put a lot into Homebridge Buddy because Webdeck's Homebridge-Indigo is pretty stable and, quite honestly, the center of my automation in my home. Webdeck did a bang up job on this project! But I started working on a native integration with Amazon Echo as a skill at the tail end of it that talks directly to Indigo. Now Siri has it's own speaker, Google has it's own thing, Echo is still king of the hill and I understand that Microsoft is entering home automation too.

What do you think should happen?

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:05 pm
roussell offline
User avatar
Posts: 802
Joined: Aug 18, 2008
Location: Alabama

Re: Voice Control Direction

Of Apple, Amazon, and Google's integration points with HA, I've found Apple's to be the most useful. Alexa/Echo is ok, but I find home Homekit/bridge the most workable in day-to-day situations.

Now having said that, I still would prefer a totally local AI implementation. I've noticed that a couple of other HA packages have that, or are working on it, and I've toyed with the idea of a local AI for Indigo based on some of the open source stuff out there, Lucidia seeming to be the most promising. I haven't had the time to devote as I wish, but it's definitely something I'd like to to toy with as I try to become less "connected" with regard to HA.


BTW, welcome back C4W - good to see you posting again. Even if you didn't contribute anything, it's nice to read your opinions on topics.

Terry

EDIT: With regard to local AI - I know the screwiest part is the hardware (far-field microphones, beam-forming, etc.), which the big boys have solved by throwing cash and economies-of-scale at it. I'm hoping the hardware issue will solve itself eventually, even if the solution is a "hackable" Echo/Home/iWhatever but who knows. I just hate the thought of sending "Turn the lights on" commands hundreds or thousands of miles to make something happen 12 feet away. That just seems wrong. :shock:

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:23 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Re: Voice Control Direction

"HomeKit is unique among connected home platforms in that it totally shuns the cloud. HomeKit operates purely on a device level, communicating directly via Bluetooth and Wi-fi between iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and third party accessories in the home. Apple believes data constantly moving back and forth from various first- or third-party clouds could create attack vectors that hackers could exploit."

From that standpoint I believe Apple wins :)

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:30 pm
kelmk offline
Posts: 72
Joined: May 17, 2017

Re: Voice Control Direction

Agreed. Homekit is the most secure and connects locally. No spying or cloud bs. I don't trust Amazon of Google for a second. If there was no homebridge I would say Alexa but Homebridge is amazing combined with native homeKit scenes. When the homePod goes on sale I will be ordering a few.

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:33 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Re: Voice Control Direction

kelmk wrote:
Agreed. Homekit is the most secure and connects locally. No spying or cloud bs. I don't trust Amazon of Google for a second. If there was no homebridge I would say Alexa but Homebridge is amazing combined with native homeKit scenes. When the homePod goes on sale I will be ordering a few.


I agree on all points personally. I love Homebridge-Indigo, it works well and I'm able to easily manipulate it to my needs with HBB. When HomePod drops I'll get a few as well because I think that home automation something Apple is going to really get behind and that HomeKit's launch 3 years ago was sort of a testing the waters and see what others do first kind of thing. Now, will I buy the iBMW? Probably not, I'm a Mercedes guy, but I do like the Apple ecosystem so it'll be a tough call :)

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:58 pm
jay (support) offline
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 13255
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Voice Control Direction

Apple still doesn't have any direct competition for the Echo/dot. Nothing that's stationary so you don't have to futz around with an iOS device. HomePod ain't it either, different target demographic and much too pricey.

If we can ever get this upcoming release out, including backend work we're doing, we'll be in a better position to tackle a native Alexa skill.

But first things first...

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:59 pm
kelmk offline
Posts: 72
Joined: May 17, 2017

Re: Voice Control Direction

Actually one of the best things about homekit is it's integration with iOS. I don't always want to say commands so it's super convenient to just swipe up on my phone or apple watch and have my favorites right there. It also seems much less rigid when it comes to voice commands. For example telling siri to turn up the heat I can say siri turn up the heat or siri, set the nest to 22, or siri, set the temperature to 22 degrees. I've also created some extra actions through Indigo/homebridge for I'm cold and I'm hot which sets the temp +/- 2C.
The only thing that annoys me with siri is having to say Hey Siri. I wish the was configurable to just Siri or Home or something like that.

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:03 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Re: Voice Control Direction

kelmk wrote:
It also seems much less rigid when it comes to voice commands.


Actually it's MORE rigid if you look at the API, you have to comply with Apple's guidelines for language, whereas Alexa lets you define your own. That being said, I find that as a strength because it will always be the same for Siri while Alexa can vary greatly from skill to skill.

jay (support) wrote:
we'll be in a better position to tackle a native Alexa skill


One of the reasons I stopped development on my Indigo skill, which I still have up there and even browsed at today, is that instead of a natural "Alexa, turn on the couch" it's "Alexa, tell Indigo to turn on the couch". More "stuff" between you and the end goal. That's why I like HB so much, it keeps it simple.

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:28 pm
jay (support) offline
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 13255
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Voice Control Direction

Authentication would be a big deal with a skill unless you hardcode your reflector and credentials (making the skill only usable for you). If Amazon only allowed users to configure skills via a UI of some type, this would be a non-issue... :roll:

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:44 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Re: Voice Control Direction

jay (support) wrote:
Authentication would be a big deal with a skill


It really shouldn't be, you can two-stage auth it from the Alexa skill interface, it would only require having an authentication API in Indigo (or a plugin that can do it).

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:10 pm
jay (support) offline
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 13255
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Voice Control Direction

Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
It really shouldn't be, you can two-stage auth it from the Alexa skill interface, it would only require having an authentication API in Indigo (or a plugin that can do it).


Problem one on our Alexa writeup hasn't changed. It is a relatively big deal.

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Posted on
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:47 pm
RogueProeliator offline
User avatar
Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Voice Control Direction

Authentication would be a big deal with a skill unless you hardcode your reflector and credentials (making the skill only usable for you). If Amazon only allowed users to configure skills via a UI of some type, this would be a non-issue...

That is where I thought we had a winner in the Google Home in that it allows requesting user authentication information via a UI (any device logged into the same account as the Home)... only to find out it will only allow you to get credentialed information for OAuth & opt-in of sharing of profile info (such as address for location-requiring apps).

What I read in that (and Amazon) is that they are "protecting your privacy" and by that I mean they want all your data for themselves only. :-| But a simple URL field seems pretty damn reasonable to me!

Posted on
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:14 pm
jay (support) offline
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 13255
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Voice Control Direction

Yeah, it's clear that all of the current players have a very limited view of how "in the clouds" things have to be in order for them to be invited to the party... :roll:

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Posted on
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:17 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
User avatar
Posts: 1129
Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Location: Colorado

Re: Voice Control Direction

Jay, I understand that the current reflector won't really allow for the integration, but what about being able to port forward directly to Indigo? I know that's a security hole, but it would be one way that if someone really wanted to do it that they could. Of course it would require something on the Indigo side that does proper authorization. I'm just spitballing.

My Modest Contributions to Indigo:

Homebridge Buddy | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Mac Commander | Security Manager | Device Extensions | LCD Creator | Control Page Keypad | Powermiser

Check Them Out Here

Posted on
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:49 pm
jay (support) offline
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 13255
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Voice Control Direction

The biggest thing would be building a hosted server that would:

  1. Provide a mechanism for users to create accounts
  2. Provide the OAuth authentication services
  3. Provide a way to configure digest authentication to talk to an Indigo Reflector as well as the reflector URL
  4. Provide a service which accepts some kind of API calls and converts them to the correct Indigo RESTful call (and deals with replies appropriately)
  5. Pay for said hosted server
  6. Provide customer support (issues CRUDing accounts, etc)

Then you'd need to build the actual Alexa skill (which is also a non-trivial effort).

It could definitely be done. My question is whether it would be a sustainable 3rd party solution.

Jay (Indigo Support)
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests