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Voice automation
This thread has 3 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday April 19, 1999 at 23:33
Pete Emerson
Historic Forum Post
Okay, the more research I do on X-10 the more intrigued I become. If I can do voice recognition with HomeVoice, then maybe I don't want something like the Pronto after all!

I mean, heck, if I can walk in my door, drop my stuff, kiss the wife, sit down and say "Watch FOX" and have the lights dim, TV turn on and change channels to FOX, A/V kick in, and the popcorn machine start popping, then WOW!

Has anybody here done anything like this, and how does reality compare to the fantasy?
OP | Post 2 made on Thursday April 22, 1999 at 15:02
Greg Orr
Historic Forum Post
I work for tech support at Home Automated Living the makers of the HAL2000. HAL2000 is a very similar product to HomeVoice, in that, we have voice control of X-10, IR, and hardwired Inputs and Output among other things. I've never used the HomeVoice product so I can't answer the question from their perspective, but you can do exactly what you are talking about, voice controlled IR, with HAL2000. It will require the HAL2000 software, of course, as well as an IR device that attaches to your computer that we are compatible with. We are compatible with three IR devices currently. The ADI IR-X card (similar to, if not the same as, HomeVoice’s ISA board), the JDS IR Xpander, and the HomeVision box. These devices cost anywhere from $100 to $500 respectively, some do more than just IR which may justify the higher price. These devices attach to your computer either through an ISA slot or a serial port. You would then learn all of your IR devices into HAL2000 using one of the devices. Then through the use of emitters, or something like a wireless X-10 PowerMid, you can give voice commands through a mic or telephone. These commands will individually control each button (ex. “Power Sony TV”). You may also create Macros that can do as many IR, X-10, and/or other HAL compatible actions as you would like, all with your customized trigger phrase (ex. “Let’s watch a movie”). You can find out more about HAL2000 at our web site, as well as, the IR devices by going to our Interfaces link which will list the three products and have links to their home pages.
OP | Post 3 made on Thursday April 22, 1999 at 20:51
Mark Steele
Historic Forum Post
I currently have Home Voice running in my home. I use the Home ISA board for IR and X-10 control. When I come home I announce myself with a security code and the alarm system is disarmed, a few lights come on, and any new voie messages are played back to me. As far as entertainment, phrases such as "let's watch a video" or "let's listen to some blues" will turn on all the required components, dim the lights, start the tape or change to the appropriate channel for DSS music. "Let's play some games" turns on 4 pinball machines, a slot machine and a dartboard in my game room. The major problem with voice-recognition is using open-air microphones. I have experimented with several types and various placements. I have had the best luck using the Crown Sound Grabber II units. I have 3 of these connected to a line mixer, then connected to a compressor-limiter which keeps the levels somewhat constant. When things are quiet, everything works great - recognition is nearly 100%. However, once you get several people talking in the room, or you crank up your system to listen to music or watch a movie, the voice-recognition is pretty useless. Unless you tell the system to stop listening, all sorts of strange things happen - lights turn off and on, channels change, etc. So I use the Pronto in conjunction with the VR.
As far as which product to buy, Home Voice is pretty decent, but I'm going to buy the HAL 2000 system mentioned above, as it appears to offer many additional features such as the ability to act as an intelligent answering machine, retrieve information from the Internet and read it back to you, etc.
OP | Post 4 made on Wednesday May 19, 1999 at 21:01
Jim Murray
Historic Forum Post
I don't know about you, but I'm all for simplicity where voice control is concerned. I have been using a product for about 1 year that accomplishes all you wish to do without being tied to a computer. This product is the Mastervoice Series II. In one small unit this product combines voice control, telephone control (of x-10), timer routines, macros, if then routines for x-10 (2-way only) and so much more. It speaks and responds to voice control of up to four different users. These devices retailed for around $4000, but I have seen several on Ebay (where I got mine) for anywhere from $250 to $500. There is an optional IR controller as well which I am using. Take a look at and click on series II. You won't be disappointed.


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