Integration with Amazon Echo

Posted on
Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:15 pm
Ankleshanker offline
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Integration with Amazon Echo

[MODERATOR NOTE] there's an open-source plugin that works well that allows Alexa (Echo, Dot, etc.) to control some Indigo devices.

Amazon just announced a new toy!

Amazon Echo
http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it hears you say the wake word, "Alexa." It's also an expertly-tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music. Echo's brain is in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound. Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream your favorite music services like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora from your phone or tablet. Echo doesn't stop working when you're away from home. With the free companion app on Fire OS and Android, plus desktop and iOS browsers, you can easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more.
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Posted on
Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:06 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

Interesting. No mention of an API that I found in my cursory read through so it seem unlikely that it'll be possible to integrate with any 3rd party systems, at least initially.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:55 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

That is interesting. I sure hope they have some type of API.

I'm not thrilled with cloud based services (especially ones that have always on microphones in my house), but privacy concerns aside it looks pretty cool. And the price is impressively low for the hardware.

Image

Posted on
Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:20 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

As with many here, I usually don't align with cloud services. However, I will say AWS is a pretty darn solid solution in terms of cloud solutions.

The biggest issue / barrier to integration might be the fact that it is in the cloud -- if you look at their supported commands and features, everything talks exclusively in the cloud... thus the device need only talk to AWS which talks to other integrations. Would vary pretty significantly to open it up to local communication (whether Echo-to-local-device or Echo-to-cloud-to-local device).

If they DO produce an API to allow that, though, sign me up for a test run to at least try it out!

Adam

Posted on
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:18 pm
MountainEars offline
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Location: Georgetown, CA

Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

Yea, I'm interested in this, in fact I may order one since I'm a prime member I can get it for $99 just to try it out....

If integration happens though, would love to hear about it. Maybe something can be done using it and IFTTT.

Posted on
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:33 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

this thing is listening to everything you say do ... in your house and posts it in the cloud!!

Posted on
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:35 pm
MountainEars offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

Amazon is really a cover name for the US Government.... Definitely may not be the device for everyone.

Posted on
Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:26 am
pvrfan offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo


Posted on
Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:53 pm
DVDDave offline
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Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

Got my Echo a couple of weeks ago and I'm pleased to report that I have it working with Indigo! As far as I know, this is the first time anyone outside Amazon has integrated Indigo with devices other than as a bluetooth speaker.

Pending an API being released, I was able to make use of Echo's to-do list to communicate with the device. Indigo calls a Ruby script (written by my son) via a Shell script every 10 seconds (could go down to 5 but it doesn't seem necessary). The Ruby script queries the Echo web page for new to-do items. When an item is found, it's marked as complete and the command is put into an Indigo variable and processed by an Applescript. The Applescript is very similar to the one I published here a while back for integration with Siri via the Messages app.

The process works quite well assuming Alexa (the voice in Echo) understands what I'm saying. I have to phrase it correctly since Alexa is not consistent about what keywords trigger a to-do. For instance, if I say "I want to turn on the hall light", it works. But saying "I want to dim the family room light" does not. Oddly enough, simply saying "Lock the door" works without any other key words. In the end, I discovered that prefacing my command with "to-do list" always works.

Of course, the command on the to-do list has to match exactly what the Applescript is expecting. Since Alexa has no context for the statements, this is somewhat challenging although it works most of the time. I can make this as flexible as desired by processing the text in the Applescript to accept simplified and alternative phrasing for commands and device names. I also plan to repeat the voice training several more times which should help.

Since this is so experimental and hopefully temporary, I am not planning to publish it at this time. However, if you have an Echo and want to try it out, please pm me and we'll work something out. If there is enough interest in it, I might reconsider. I would be happy to see some general discussion in this thread though.

--Dave

Posted on
Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:10 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

Neat, thanks for the update.

What is your overall opinion on the Echo? It seems to have gotten pretty good reviews.

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Posted on
Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:21 pm
DVDDave offline
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Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

In addition of the techno-fun of this project, I really like it. I've even bought a Fire TV and a full prime membership after being exposed to the Amazon media services. They real knew how to get their hooks into me. :)

I find we're listening to music much more now since it is so immediate and satisfying to tell Alexa to start playing. The speaker is more than adequate for use in the kitchen/family room area and in some ways is better than my home theater since it works nicely in the background. I also find it very useful for setting a kitchen timer or alarm and we are starting to try the shopping list as well. Haven't done too much information searching yet although the grandkids enjoyed getting her to tell knock-knock jokes.

At this price, it's a no brainer if only as a kitchen speaker. However, I think the real value lies in it's promising future. It'll be very interesting to see where Amazon takes it.

--Dave

Posted on
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:46 pm
roussell offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

I've ordered one but haven't received it yet. Your post has me excited thinking about integration possibilities! Great work!

Posted on
Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:11 pm
greenhornet offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

I have one and will be attempting to see where I can get with Insteon integration, if Dave is willing to share. Will post results when I can.

Posted on
Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:09 pm
gustavoguimas offline
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Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

I just found this:

https://github.com/ghballiet/echo-api
I will explore and see if i can came up with something fun :P

Posted on
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:23 am
DVDDave offline
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Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Integration with Amazon Echo

I just got a notice that Amazon has released support forWeMo and Philips Hue. I would love to see Indigo added to the list! There is an SDK coming out but, not being an actual developer, I have not been able to get approved for further info. (https://developer.amazon.com/public/sol ... vices/echo)

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