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Author Topic: Automation with Alexa  (Read 46386 times)

BackAgain

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #270 on: October 01, 2017, 01:35:57 PM »

"I enjoy doing things while away from home... like bicycling. Although I don't do a LOT of stuff with my home lighting while away. But this automation stuff is WAY TOO COOL to only have and use at home. Maybe we should differentiate personal automation, home automation, and just plain automation? "

I don't need the ability to control things while away from home since I very rarely am; seldom more than a few hours a month.

For me 'automation' of lights is a convenience thing since I forget to turn them on or off, or I simply don't feel like getting up and going to another room to do something.  Most of what is 'automated' are curio cabinets or outside lights just to give the house that 'lived in' look from outside.


Old fashioned plug in clock timers would do part of that, but they didn't keep time well and there was that DST thing.  And they weren't very good with the whole 'dusk to dawn' bit.  Photocells are flaky with low wattage LEDs and cost as much as some of the WiFi modules now.

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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #271 on: October 01, 2017, 04:05:42 PM »

....... Most of what is 'automated' are curio cabinets or outside lights just to give the house that 'lived in' look from outside.

Yep. I do the same with some low wattage lighting in cabinets and corners and such... otherwise a task or table lamp causes a room to have a cave-like look/feel. I've always preferred additional indirect lighting to remove shadows and "lighten" the look... and I prefer that part to be automated as well.

I believe we call that theme lighting now-a-days. But it doesn't matter what it's called that is old fashion easy to do "timer-like" lighting... and can be done with a clock timer, PC and X10, or Internet cloud operated devices. Mine are mostly LED (one CFL) and controlled via an old XP laptop, with AHP, connected to a CM15a. It's been running along without fail for over a decade. I reboot the laptop maybe twice a year. I think converting over to a miniature, or stick PC would be the next step with PC based automation.

That's great automation. But there is also a lot more available. And there just isn't any reason for me... to not to enjoy the extras that automation has to offer. Heck just having a smart garage door (MyQ) notify me on my iphone when my garage door goes up and/or down has probably paid for itself in saved gasoline.... From the times I would have driven around the block to make sure I had remembered to close the garage door. And the MyQ hub allows for other remote phone-based automation as well.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 04:16:59 PM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #272 on: November 16, 2017, 04:07:39 PM »

I've been playing with Alexa's routines for a while now very cool simular to grups or scenes i guess but you trigger them with a phrase like "Alexe good morning." Flashbriefings and such can also be added to the routine. Problem was i couldnt add a local weather report.
Finally with the announcement Amazon was to distribute alexa devices to Canada i decided to check the app and can now set my location to one outside the US. :)%

Routines still need some adds like conditionals speak a phrase, delays and order of triggering but I'm sure these will come.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 06:22:22 AM by Tuicemen »
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Brian H

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #273 on: November 16, 2017, 05:54:32 PM »

I saw that Amazon was now going to start selling in Canada. On the UDI Forums.
A few have already prerecorded theirs.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #274 on: November 17, 2017, 11:02:45 PM »

..... Problem was i couldnt add a local weather report....

I love the Echo's (and have always loved voice control). I can ask for a weather forecast in Canada (or any city in the world) I just have to ask for weather (or weather forecast) in the city, county by name.

I don't know if.. or when... Amazon or Google gadgets will become all that real home automation followers would want. I think... these products are mass-market designed. It could (maybe rightfully) be decided (in the marketing department) that too techie, could be intimating to their customer base. One of the newest Echo's even has it's own hub now.

But otherwise.... I think Amazon (and by extension Google) are willing to let the true hobbyists accomplish more using various other hubs and IFTTT.   
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 11:12:53 PM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #275 on: November 23, 2017, 03:58:25 PM »

..... Problem was i couldnt add a local weather report....

I love the Echo's (and have always loved voice control). I can ask for a weather forecast in Canada (or any city in the world) I just have to ask for weather (or weather forecast) in the city, county by name.
 
I could do that and was, but the flash briefing would report the Alexa configured locations weather, which previously had to be a US location.

With the ability to add device control to Routines I decided to popped for another RM Broadlink Pro.
I just loved that function at the cottage and left the other one there. :-[
Well just one more thing I don't have to worry about transporting.  rofl
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #276 on: November 23, 2017, 11:00:22 PM »

..... I decided to popped for another RM Broadlink Pro.
I just loved that function at the cottage and left the other one there. :-[
....

Just added the RM Broadlink Pro to my list to be mailed to Santa.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #277 on: November 29, 2017, 08:27:39 AM »

They're giving this stuff away!

I was doing some shopping on-line (due to the holiday season).... and couldn't help but notice the seasonal deals. Wifi light bulbs for $10, these wifi plugs for $12.50 (whereas I ordered a couple to try at the lower price... it has since gone up slightly).
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #278 on: November 29, 2017, 09:35:46 AM »

I love the no Hub required stuff. One less hop to make and one less place for the command to get missed. ;)
Alexa and Google home have really contributed to a surge in HA interest and a price drop in a lot of AH stuff.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #279 on: November 29, 2017, 02:27:30 PM »

I love the no Hub required stuff. One less hop to make and one less place for the command to get missed. ;)

I am fine with hubs. When you consider the complexities of handshake and hyper text protocols as well as 16bit package exchanges.... it would seem like it's a wonder anything like the Internet or wifi could ever [reliably] work. Yet this wireless Interweb stuff seems to be working OK around here.

I am actually trying to see how complex my setup can be made. I firmly believe.... theses things can be made virtually 100% compatible. We should be able to mix-and-match any-and-all flavors and brands of HA devices..... of course.... with the exception of Microsoft products. I don't know how much longer Microsoft will be supported.

Some thing do change.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #280 on: December 11, 2017, 10:24:06 AM »

Being an Amazon prime member I get a lot of special notices (pronounced: SALES emails) from Amazon. LOTS, if not all, of the Alexa devices are marked down for the holidays season. It's a great time to buy-in to voice control.... particularly with the announcement of the new X10 wifi device nearing release.

I've already decided to use the sales to expand my Alexa's reach with a 3rd device (another DOT @ $29). But the remote device (great for noisy areas) is also only $29 bucks as well. And interestingly.... the Amazon small (Alexa enabled) tablet is now only $29. It's a tap/push and speak device... so no worries about Amazon listening in. The table could be a great way to stick-a-toe into voice control.

I am excited about the new X10 wifi device being released.... and the explosion of Home Automation advances being made with X10 and elsewhere. 2018 promises to be ground zero of a new golden age of Home Automation.   
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #281 on: December 11, 2017, 11:42:18 AM »

Quote
I am actually trying to see how complex my setup can be made. I firmly believe.... theses things can be made virtually 100% compatible. We should be able to mix-and-match any-and-all flavors and brands of HA devices..... of course.... with the exception of Microsoft products. I don't know how much longer Microsoft will be supported.
Actually with Cortana and the  Harman Kardon Invoke there may still be life in Microsoft. Some developers are creating small Window IOT Core boxes and using Cortana for Home control. Even some DIYers are playing with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpUYCxRUn-8

Quote
LOTS, if not all, of the Alexa devices are marked down for the holidays season.
Amazon may have missed the window here in Canada Google minis Have been going for $39,  Dots $79.
However I still prefer my Dots for most things over the Google minis. I suspect these giants will be the winners in the voice assistant market.

Quote
2018 promises to be ground zero of a new golden age of Home Automation
So true! I suspect we'll see a lot of new hardware from different manufactures as they fight for a piece of the Automation market Alexa and Google home have brought to the spot light.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #282 on: December 11, 2017, 03:17:01 PM »

Actually with Cortana and the  Harman Kardon Invoke there may still be life in Microsoft.

Yeah.... I should have used a funny emoticon.... I was poking fun of Microsoft... sorta. With an ever increasing number of android/Pi devices... and Apple stuff (like my iphone) I find less and less of a need for MS. I find myself wondering about a Raspberry Pi, running windows 10.

Amazon may have missed the window here in Canada Google minis Have been going for $39,  Dots $79.
However I still prefer my Dots for most things over the Google minis. I suspect these giants will be the winners in the voice assistant market.

OMG. I had no idea Canada levied such onerous import tariffs. The full-sized Echo is only $79 here (DOTs are $29)... with the Echo show being only $149. Googles littlest device is also $29 bucks.   

.... I suspect we'll see a lot of new hardware from different manufactures as they fight for a piece of the Automation market Alexa and Google home have brought to the spot light.

I sure hope you're right. I feel the same myself! But I also have my reservations. Back-in-the-day.... we used to describe HA as a niche market. And I certainly believe HA has now exceeded anything that could be considered a "niche". But of all the people I know... I don't know of anyone who has entered into a smart home lifestyle... other than forum members and myself. But I am still expecting big things to come.

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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #283 on: December 11, 2017, 05:04:33 PM »

OMG. I had no idea Canada levied such onerous import tariffs. The full-sized Echo is only $79 here (DOTs are $29)... with the Echo show being only $149. Googles littlest device is also $29 bucks.   
There is no tariffs on these things amazon just hadn't lowered their price here yet.
the difference is due to the currency exchange and shipping.
Amazon just lowered the dots to $49 but I would have thought they'd at least tried to match the google mini ::) :'
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #284 on: December 11, 2017, 06:42:28 PM »

..... the difference is due to the currency exchange and shipping.

I hadn't realized the "metric dollar" ;D had slipped (I just googled it). I have thought about converting all my liquid assesses into silver. Then I found out our dimes aren't made of silver anymore  :(   :'
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 09:37:44 PM by HA Dave »
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