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Author Topic: Automation with Alexa  (Read 46267 times)

HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #180 on: March 20, 2017, 11:25:33 AM »

FWIW

I just coupled Alexa to Homeseer3 and I now have Alexa voice control of 80 some do-dads in the home. The problem is I must remember the precise do-dad name or Alexa plays dumb.

It's still easier to just push the button.  :'

Congratulations!

You may want to rethink your naming convention processes... and how lights are grouped. I've never used Homeseer. So I don't know what Homeseer calls its setups... programs/macros/receipts/robots... but setup is key to making this all work well together. As (with 80 devices) I am sure you already know.

Even though the light beside my favorite easy chair is in the living room.... it is not in the "living room group". That way I can turn on/off most of the living room lights without altering the one light I normally need/use.

Also the one light by my chair responds to either "table light" or table "lamp".... so as long as I remember that it sits on a table... I am good.

PLUS... not everything is best controlled by voice commands. Or for that matter... not everything is best controlled (directly) by humans. I have an old X10 floodlight that controls a couple things other than just it's own light. But I can't recall even once controlling that light by either voice or remote.

Over the weekend.... a grandchild seemed drawn to a commercial on TV. She didn't care about the advertisement... she liked the few seconds of the music being played. When I noticed that.... I said: "Alexa... play Betty Davis eyes"... as I muted the TV (that was the song). That grandchild doesn't talk yet... but she sure knows how to smile.

I've also found that turning the TV off during dinner... and asking Alexa for either golden oldies, a local (via iheart) radio station, or even just smooth jazz..... makes for a more pleasant dinner with Grammy too.

I spent some time reviewing/trying various different "flash briefings" (in the Alexa skills) and I make a point of starting every day with my little flash briefing. BTW... Alexa is OK with me asking for my "flash brief"... or even just my "briefing".

Spending a little time now-and-then reviewing the Alexa skills (there are new ones all the time) is a easy way to add helpfulness and utility to this new function.

There is a lot more to automation... than turning things on and off.


« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 11:50:05 AM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #181 on: March 20, 2017, 11:30:57 AM »

It's still easier to just push the button.  :'
rofl
My wife would agree with you.
I never added Alexa control to all my " do-dads" but still find I'm not saying the correct phrase for some. B:(

 There are some bridges/hubs that allow control based on IP and the location of the Amazon device this way when you walk into a room you just say, "Alexa turn on lights" the bridge/hub knows only to turn on lights in that room. No need to remember specific device names.

 I suspect this will only get better!
 >!
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #182 on: March 20, 2017, 11:47:43 AM »

I never added Alexa control to all my " do-dads" ......

I should have mentioned I am currently NOT controlling any of my X10 devices with Alexa (yet). But have included several ihome, Cree, and my garage door and (one of it's light units) with Alexa. And.... I may be adding the TV soon.... as my current remotes volume button seems to be sticking.

I suspect this will only get better!

I think your right. Soon these things should be able to figure out who is where... and remember what lights they prefer to be on.

But... pushing buttons or even just flipping switches might remain the easiest way to go. I can not even guess how many hours I've spend fishing wires and building my setup. And... I know I hold NO records in that regard. HA has a certain pleasantness and maybe even some safety and security about it. But it can be a lot of work to automate things. 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 12:29:20 AM by HA Dave »
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #183 on: March 22, 2017, 12:28:18 AM »

Has anyone tried the Alexa Skill: Dr. A.I. by HealthTap
by HealthTap Inc.

It's just what it sounds like. Trained by the wisdom of more than 107,000 top U.S. doctors across 141 specialties on HealthTap, Dr. A.I. engages with you in an empathetic conversation about your symptoms and overall health. Powered by the most advanced Artificial Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Deep Learning techniques, Dr. A.I. immediately translates your symptoms into possible medical explanations that are personalized to your age, gender, possible conditions, medications, and other relevant aspects of your health and well being. Dr. A.I. then gives you appropriate doctor-recommended insights as well as the best possible courses of action you can take on the road to feeling good. After sharing your symptoms, if you wish, you can even talk with a real doctor right away!



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bkenobi

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #184 on: March 22, 2017, 10:45:45 AM »

Sounds like this is adding a phone tree between you and your doctor.  Now you just need to figure out what combination of menus to drill down through to actually reach a real person!   rofl

HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #185 on: March 22, 2017, 06:13:41 PM »

Sounds like this is adding a phone tree between you and your doctor.  Now you just need to figure out what combination of menus to drill down through to actually reach a real person!   rofl

Actually... my doctor is a friend of mine. I could call him at home in the middle of the night... if need be.

Now-a-days (in the USA) doctors run a program that confirms their diagnosis (or not). It's really kind of a pain in the ars... the doctor and/or nurse spend more time typing at the PC than looking at the patient. And I believe... the same [program] coordinates the same info with our CDC (Center for Disease Control). 

With the Alexa HealthTap app/skill The program.... eliminates the doctor/office call... or alerts the users of important things. With holidays, weekends, and doctors visits eating up time (and in many cases... money). This could be useful.   

I haven't used any of the Web MD like services yet myself. But my daughter has. Texting a baby-rash pic to her insurances... on-line med service. And getting an immediate prescription at the nearest 24-hour drug store... in the middle of the night. This just eliminates the possible error (and much of the cost) of an actual human doctor. 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 06:27:10 PM by HA Dave »
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #186 on: April 23, 2017, 12:16:23 AM »

I recently added a new-ish re-worked macro-like function to my combo setup.

This is an old macro that I created years ago to turn a bedtime lamp on... that would delay for 3 minutes then turn itself off. Now... it's operation is simpler... even if the setup is a little Rube Goldberg like in it's complexity.

Here... Alexa is instructed to turn the Bedtime Lights Out (Off works too). Bedtime isn't the name of a light... but instead... the name of a "room of lights/devices" in the on-line (cloud) Alexa setup. In the Bedtime room one light is a Cree WiFi automation bulb that Alexa talks to through a Wink hub (on a shelf under my TV). The other light (the small one) is an X10 soft-start that is controlled via a Homeseer Hometroller (in my basement man-cave). Alexa communicates to it via the Homeseer server (cloud) which instructs the Hometroller to tell the CM15A (also in the man-cave) to send a RF signal to a 2nd CM15A which triggers a macro and sends a PLC to the X10 module at the small lamp (it can be seen in the video).

I think this makes a (very brief) and interesting video HERE.

I added more detailed setup instructions at User Created Working Macros
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 12:33:45 AM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #187 on: May 08, 2017, 05:16:41 PM »

I recently picked up a second dot to experiment with.
After setting the second one up I took one to my off grid place to experiment with.
I needed to tell Alexa to use a new Wi-Fi connection and have read of users using these on the road.
I decided to tell Alexa to discover devices and it picked up one device.
Having nothing configure here for Alexa I was confused.
Going to the Alexa app and clicking discover devices it shows all devices at my city place as alive and connected. :o
Since Alex10 isn't setup for remote access this was also confusing but I have one wemo device which I assume my dot is seeing from the off grid cottage.
If I tell Alexa to turn on or off a x10 device she responds with OK indicating the command was sent from the HA-Bridge to Alex10 at my city place :o
I have to do a bit more experimenting with this but it is looking promising  ;)
My internet connection is much slower here then in the city but you'd never know it with Alexa, music streams here just as well. :)%

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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #188 on: May 08, 2017, 05:57:55 PM »

I recently picked up a second dot to experiment with.....
Going to the Alexa app and clicking discover devices it shows all devices at my city place as alive and connected. :o
Since Alex10 isn't setup for remote access this was also confusing

I believe (only from what I have read from one of the many sources)... DOT and Echo are pre-configured at Amazon with your settings. That could explain an innate knowledge of your set-up.

I understand... a new Ford can use the Amazon/Alexa app... as can a recent iPhone (maybe other phones as well... I don't know).

I've considered... or should I say my wife is considering getting an Echo... mostly for the music. But also because so many of the lights are now Amazon controlled.... we almost NEED a 2nd device.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 06:07:44 PM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #189 on: May 08, 2017, 08:24:11 PM »

Amazon keeps track of all IPs the Alexa devices used.
I figured telling the Alexa at the cottage to discover devices would see all devices already configured.
It doesn't, possible because my x10 setup is not set for remote control (no port forwarding)
What I find very interesting is although Alexa reports only seeing one device it can control all devices at my city place from the cottage and faster it seems then locally.
Yes, I have confirmed this.
This will open some new automation possibilities.
I've considered... or should I say my wife is considering getting an Echo... mostly for the music. But also because so many of the lights are now Amazon controlled.... we almost NEED a 2nd device.
Since you have a good blue tooth speaker it would be cheaper to just get a second Dot or Tap (as they can now be set to hands free mode).
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #190 on: May 09, 2017, 12:22:12 AM »

.... Since you have a good blue tooth speaker it would be cheaper to just get a second Dot or Tap (as they can now be set to hands free mode).

That has been a consideration. The options available now-a-days.... can sometimes be staggering. Mixing and/or sharing a resource like a nice large BT speaker with a phone, tablet, ipod, AND a DOT... could be prove convenient... or be a pain in the rear.

Sometimes... keeping the complex as simple as possible seems almost elegant. Sometimes... it seems like a missed opportunity. Sometimes.... I just have to login to Amazon and click on something... then make it work.     
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dave w

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #191 on: May 09, 2017, 07:30:25 PM »

I see Amazon has announced a video screen version for Echo called Show. I think they are aiming at Skype.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #192 on: May 09, 2017, 11:47:48 PM »

I see Amazon has announced a video screen version for Echo called Show. I think they are aiming at Skype.

I saw that too! A fast, easy way to video chat...huh. Just what we need here.... one more F***ing phone to answer. Like the cell phones and land-line ain't enough. We use iphones to Facetime currently.

But watching a YouTube for instructions/directions would be nice (I use YouTube all the time). It keeps it up with Siri.... (Siri produces internet stuff now). I can see where it would be really handy in the kitchen.

Being able to ask for (home security) camera views might be nice. Not something I do that often though. I am anxious to read reviews and hear how other people find uses for this device. I am already "IN" with Amazon and the Echo/Alexa stuff... I hope this works out well! 
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dhouston

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #193 on: May 11, 2017, 04:36:36 PM »

I see Amazon has announced a video screen version for Echo called Show. I think they are aiming at Skype.

They might be aiming higher up the food chain.
http://www.computerworld.com/article/3196158/unified-communications/amazons-echo-show-could-disrupt-enterprise-class-unified-communications.html?google_editors_picks=true
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #194 on: May 11, 2017, 11:01:28 PM »

I see Amazon has announced a video screen version for Echo called Show. I think they are aiming at Skype.

They might be aiming higher up the food chain.

I don't think they're aiming so much.... as that's just the direction that technology is taking everyone. It's gotten pretty darn cheap to excite a few electrons. Landline phones at home... have been relegated to folks with plenty of extra money... and the elderly (like myself). I don't know why I still have a "home phone". Mostly it just rings with calls from questionable sales people.

More and more... business and personal I don't even call.... it's just a text. Everyone deals with them in their available time... and for business it provides a paperless digital trail/confirmation.

It's the grandkids that like to Facetime... so they can "see" us. For them it's almost like a real visit.   
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