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Thread: Cortex voice control using Amazon Echo

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    Default Cortex voice control using Amazon Echo

    Having purchased an Amazon Echo now they are available in the UK, I was curious as to how difficult it would be to connect it to my existing Cortex system now we have a Web API available.

    After about four hours of reading/coding, here's an early working demo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vL19rt1YZ8

    Still very much a work in progress, and only supports the basic on/off commands so far, but it at least demonstrates it's possible to use Echo to decode the instruction (via the Amazon cloud), send it to my code in AWS Lambda which decodes the request and calls the Cortex web API back in my home network via my broadband connection. Note my Cortex installation is particularly slow in responding generally (even to module button presses) so don't take this demo as indicative of general performance.


    Cheers


    Neil

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    well done ... am tempted to follow ...

    ultimately, perhaps with several Dots around the house ... 'though that seems to need future software updates, to avoid confusion ...

    wonder how effective / reliable when house is not quiet - others talking, radio or television on, washing machine whirring, etc ...

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 11th October 2016 at 10:05 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    wonder how effective / reliable when house is not quite - others talking, radio or television on, washing machine whirring, etc ...
    Chris
    I've been impressed with the recognition so far. "She" has a good ability to cancel out background noise, and the accuracy of recognition seems to be the same with the TV on or music playing to a quiet room.

    Cheers

    Neil

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellinn View Post
    Note my Cortex installation is particularly slow in responding generally (even to module button presses) so don't take this demo as indicative of general performance.
    Just so that the general audience don't get the wrong impression .... This is not the normal expectation of Cortex reaction speed and particularly so for lighting control. So I had already quizzed Neil about what might be causing this delay and he explained that he thinks its partly because his Cortex computer 'is somewhat overloaded with other stuff'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    Just so that the general audience don't get the wrong impression .... This is not the normal expectation of Cortex reaction speed and particularly so for lighting control. So I had already quizzed Neil about what might be causing this delay and he explained that he thinks its partly because his Cortex computer 'is somewhat overloaded with other stuff'.
    Whilst my PC isn't ideal, the lamps in the video are actually slower than all the other lights in my house as they are all on a RTX-401 wireless module, and switching the plugs probably takes 1-2 seconds longer to respond than the light modules wired to traditional DIN dimmers.

    Cheers

    Neil

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    presumably the Echo working via the cloud contributes to the delay, too ... ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    presumably the Echo working via the cloud contributes to the delay, too ... ?
    Yes, the Echo takes about 2-3 seconds to decode anything you say to it..so add on the 2-3 seconds for the wireless plug sockets and you get the performance you see in the video.

    I will do some more accurate timings once more of the code is written to adjust temperature and dimming levels.

    Cheers

    Neil

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    'tis funny, initial reaction to 2-3 seconds delay is that it's too much ... but asking someone, a person, to do the job would probably involve the same, perhaps more ... difference, though, is that perhaps feedback is more immediate, because the person would soon say something and/or show signs of action ... maybe the Echo does, too, via an LED ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    'tis funny, initial reaction to 2-3 seconds delay is that it's too much ... but asking someone, a person, to do the job would probably involve the same, perhaps more ... difference, though, is that perhaps feedback is more immediate, because the person would soon say something and/or show signs of action ... maybe the Echo does, too, via an LED ?
    Yes, for me, the delay isn't a problem, as they way you talk to the Echo is usually whilst you're performing other tasks, or have your hands full, so you don't really sit there waiting for a response.

    There is a LED which rotates whilst she is "thinking" - you can just make this out in the video..it's just below and to the left of the clock on the wall near the picture frames.

    Cheers

    Neil

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    yep, think we will take this onboard - will wait for the multi- update ...

    there's also a Google option, and of course Apple Siri, but no idea how they compare, especially from a linkability to Cortex point of view ... plus TVs are beginning to be spoken-to, too, so that's another factor to consider ... maybe several of these things can co-exist, like people can !

    funny how things develop - when we first planned our set-up, we didn't include intercom abilities, and yet we now wouldn't dream of going without, not only for intercom functions, but also for Cortex telling us things ... ditto, since Karam noted that low-cost Android tablets offered possibilities, and we brought them on-board, too (now having seven, and may yet go for more) ...

    security is perhaps a concern ... most graphically since yesterday I noticed this :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37590375

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 11th October 2016 at 01:34 PM.

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