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Thread: Voice control with an X10 system

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Voice control with an X10 system

    Hi All,

    I'm an absolute newbie to X10 (as in I only heard about it yesterday) and wanted to check something out with those in the know.

    As a S/W engineer I'd be interested in writing a Voice Control module for an X10 system. I say write it and not buy it because a google webcheck shows this kind of enhancement coming in at around 200 and I'm a bit of a cheapskate so I'd rather write my own system.

    Are there any X10 Software packages/drivers out there that can be automated through API/ActiveX?

    Alternatively, an X10 controller that I can communicate with and control directly.

    Apologies if my question is naive or doesn't make sense, as I said I only heard about this yesterday and I'm fascinated and more than a little giddy at the S/W projects I could develop with this.

    Cheers in advance

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Voice control with an X10 system

    Have you had a look at Homeseer. www.homeseer.com This has voice control capabilities. It retails at about 136 pounds. On the download page of the website there is an active x download dont know if you need Homeseer to use it though.
    If you are looking for voice recognition then you need a fairly fast PC. Ive tried Homeseer on a 1.2GHz mini itx pc and the response time was quite slow for voice recognition.
    On the Dec issue of computer shopper DVD version there is a program called Talk It Type It. This may be able to control X10.
    Another one is IBM Via Voice, this costs about $80, and can control other programs by voice.
    Have a look here for some utility progs and the RS232 Communication Protocol for the CM11 http://www.intellihome.be/english/so...ex.asp?menu=12
    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Voice control with an X10 system

    cheers for that response Toscal. Stacks for me to check out there, particularly the ActiveX download and RS232 protocol info. Definitely want to check those out since then I'd be able to write my own software/interfaces.

    If I can convince the wife that we can't live without home automatation and manage to get my hands dirty on some coding I'll post some more here about how I get on.

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Voice control with an X10 system

    Forgot to mention Mister House as another program to look at. It works on various flavours of Windows and on Linux too. Its written in Perl I think.
    http://misterhouse.sourceforge.net/
    You might want to look at xAP and xPL home automation protocols.
    http://www.xapautomation.org/
    http://www.xplproject.org.uk/

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Voice control with an X10 system

    Richard,

    Comprehensive support for voice control exists in the IDRATEK Cortex software (and there is an interface to X10). No ActiveX/API but scripting is possible. But really there would not be much need since the the voice recognition vocabulary and various commands are automatically created by Cortex based on what you call your controlled devices and their implicit functions/states. In other words if you named your X10 light 'Lounge light 1' then Cortex would automatically create a vocabulary which understood terms such as 'Lounge light 1 enable' or 'Lounge Light 1 speak (state)' etc. The recognition of such phrases would be available via room panel microphones or via the phone and the success will depend on the particular voice engine being used as well as acoustic conditions.

    It just depends at what level you are wanting to write your code. If you want to simply write your own high level code to use existing voice recognition engines to control X10 then you can do this without 3rd party software, just using a PC, PC/X10 interface (CM12U or such), and some information on how to send X10 commands via the CM12U (fairly straightforward and documentation avialable). On the voice recognition side you will probably use SAPI4 or SAPI5 to act as interface to widely available recognition engines (not many free ones though). Microsoft SDKs provide the necessary SAPI interfaces as well as all the documentation for these.

    If on the other hand you are into writing the low level recognition algorithms (the engines) well then we might be interested :-)

    Practical experience from our own products tells us:
    Open air recognition from a few meters via one of our room panels is possible but reliability is obvioulsy very dependent on so many acoustic factors.
    Telephone recognition is more reliable since the user is typically mouth to microphone and the bandwidth is more limited too.

    Good luck!

    Karam
    IDARATEK LTD

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