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Author Topic: Speech  (Read 13015 times)

Duck69

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Speech
« on: September 05, 2007, 11:13:32 PM »

Hi Gang,
Summer is over, grandkids back in school. Ah ! Listen to the quiet.
As those of you that know me, I use a Mac computer. One of the very, very few that does on this forum.
Well anyway, a while back I obtained a couple of CP290's to experiment with voice control and since then things have changed dramatically.
It's amazing how you can start off with a simple idea and have it convolute.
Started off with the Indigo computer interface and the X10 controllers, added the web interface, next was Telephone control then Bluetooth control and now I have wireless headset control. I'm using a Plantronics CS50 wireless USB headset (fits comfortably over either ear).
The range of this headset is awesome. Well over 100 feet Actually, I has driven a couple of blocks away before I lost contact. I would guess about 300+ feet (as advertised).

Jim
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 01:18:17 PM by Duck69 »
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HA Dave

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Re: Speech
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2007, 12:34:40 AM »

Duck69..... your in for a treat! I discovered voice control about a year ago through the BXVC thread. Bill (of wgjohns.com) has since moved up to BVC and the software just gets better. Of course... it's PC software.

I experimented for some time at getting my voice to the Home Automation computer (the one with the CM15A). The bluetooth ear-piece I tried had excellent voice transmission and worked great (but at only 30 feet). I finally ended up using a microphone setup that consists of (believe it or not) baby monitors. I hardwired a speaker system, using PC speakers. I even use a PC speaker as a post-amp (so I don't blow my soundcard). I can control X10 and more from the comfort of my easy chair, office, or the home theater.... hands free, with no visible microphones (like Star-Trek).

I created a talking clock. A talking garage door open reminder. And most recently wired a speaker outside (as part of a perimeter detection system) to announce to treaspassers that they are being monitored.

I have upgraded to a better (than microsoft) new voice, and purchased weather aloud. For my next project I intent to include a wet basement warning... via voice warning and text messaging (cell phone).

I am TOTALLY sold on voice control, and am surprised more people aren't using it. I am constantly looking for new applications for voice control... anything you can share would be greatly appreached.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 09:34:35 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Duck69

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Re: Speech
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 01:12:32 PM »

Dave_x10_L, ... I like your thinking !

Wireless speech control not only frees you from the computer. It frees you. (Period)
Here are some examples.
Have you ever had your " Palm Pad remote, your 2 button remote or your Credit Card remote" in your shirt pocket only to have it fall out when you bend over ?
Stop what you are doing to reach for your remote ?
Put your remote down and forget where you put it ?
Get comfortable and then realize that you don't have your remote ?

Some things to consider:
1) Device class: Class 2 Bluetooth devices have a communication range of 10 meters (30 feet), and Class 1 adapters provide a communication range of 100 meters (300 feet).
† † †If you combine a Class 1 & Class 2 device, it will only operate at the lower range.
† † †So, for greater range you you will need to have a Class 1 USB computer dongle (dongle = The USB thingamaging) & a Class 1 headset.
2) Interference: Bluetooth operates at the 2.4 GHz frequency.
† † All Bluetooth devices are keyed for their own networks and uses encoding that guards against interference and ensures only devices specifically programmed to receive a broadcast† will be able to decode it. BUT ! As the saying goes s*^# happens. I've noticed that when I enter the den that has wireless speakers, they† Buzzzzzz. Noise level is dependent on the speakers volume.
I have not tested it with a 2.4 GHz wireless phone, as I have a Uniden TRU8866 5.8GHz phone system.
3) Background Noise: This is a major culprit. Especially to built in (Walls/Ceilings) microphones,, as they tend to pick up everything in a room causing your commands to not be understood by the computer. It helps to have a "Listen" command. Meaning a word that is spoken before a command is given. Such as "Computer". I use "Mica" which is an anagram for iMac. Good headsets filter out most background noises and therefore are more accurate.
4) Your Voice and pronouncation: I have a somewhat South American accent as I was raised there. My wife has an Okie accent, same reason. (I don't mean she was raised in South America as I was but that she is from Oklahoma)† ;D Hardy Har Har† ;D ;D Anyway, your voice can be a major factor causing the computer to misunderstand your command. For instance, Pin & Pen etc.. As an example you might want to say something like "Computer. Parking or Computer Park" rather than "Computer. Open garage or Computer turn on garage"". I can think of 2 reasons off hand for this. 1) The computer could misunderstand the word Garage for Garbage or another word beginning with "Gar". 2) If you're like me you probably use a UM506 for the garage door, where the open & close signals are the same. So instead of having 2 commands for the same thing. Open Garage & Close Garage or turn on garage & turn off garage. You could simple say "Computer park" or some such thing.

Since I have a Mac and most of you use windows talking about the software that I use, won't be of any help to you.
However you can PM me if you want to know more about my system.

From what I understand "Dragon Naturally Speaking" is the best voice control software for windows.
If you need help with scripts or want/need scripts made, I'd like to suggest Publi-Script.

I do have Windows XP running under Parallels on my Mac and can use the Windows HA programs.
I choose not to.
Why ?
Exactly !
Why ?

Back to the subject at hand.
It's too bad that my cell phone isn't a Class 1 bluetooth device.
Did I mention that all you need is the software to use the Plantronics CS50 headset for VOIP.
Think about it ! Phoning your friends, controlling your HA all without lifting a finger.

The FUN has just begun.† ;D

I have no interests or stakes in any companies mentioned. They are mentioned solely to provide you with information.



« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 01:19:50 PM by Duck69 »
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Re: Speech
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 12:24:03 AM »

I for one, would certainly be interested in what software, etc. you are using to do this on the Mac (without "PC" emulation).

You asked me quite a while back about doing this with BXVC and I still have no answer.† :(

Help?
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HA Dave

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Re: Speech
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 09:09:00 PM »

yeah.... share the software.... for the software types.

I really want to know what things your doing with voice command.... and the computer voice alone.
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Duck69

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Re: Speech
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 12:49:15 AM »

My Mac HA software:
AppleScript, comes free with all Apple computers. Write scripts for the computer and applications.
Speech, free, built into all Macs
Indigo from Perceptive Automation. It is a home control server that has a built in web server.
Salling Clicker from Salling Software it works with WiFi and Bluetooth on devices such as† PDAís, Cell phones etc..
Phlink from OVOlab. Is a voice mail system. It is a hardware-software package that connects a standard phone line or a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), such as one from Vonage using the USB hardware thatís included.

Although I find the built in Speech does all that I want and works pretty well, there is Software available that is more robust; Such as iListen from MacSpeech. It is supposed to be trainable, create separate voice profiles etc.. *I have not tried the MacSpeech software.

I am using a Plantronics CS50 wireless headset that operates in the 2.4 GHz band.
My testing shows an exceptional range. (My mailbox is on the next street over and the connection is still good. (Yes, we do have a stop light, itís at the beginning of town).† ;D ;D ;D
I have used the CS50 from my PickUp truck to open the gate to the back yard and open the garage. Turn off the dog fence when Iím taking Otis with me & turn it back on when we return. Turn on the back porch light when Iím still outside and it gets dark. Control iTunes & other applications. Control all my X10 devices.
* Of note there is interference on my wireless speakers when I enter that particular room with the headset on.

In order to have DSL, I have to keep my landline.
Other than the landline (The landline has itís own answering machine) for DSL & basic phone service.
I also have Vonage VOIP.
I have Phlink set up on my Vonage (computer) line and to only answer calls from mine and the wifeís cell phones. All other calls are directed to a voice mailbox. If we ever have to use a phone other than ours, then we enter a code to bypass the voice mailboxes and access control. Should we be away from home and donít remember if we turned off the Coffee pot or something else or simple want to know the status of our home. No problem ! A simple phone call takes care of all of that. Phlink will give us the status of all the modules in our home. We can turn off, turn on, dim, trigger actions etc.. directly from our cell phones. You can even send an e-mail to control devices.

I have to mention that the Indigo web server is a lot of fun.
Make a picture of your home and simply insert icons to control whatever you want. You can make your control page as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can make, borrow or steal whatever icons you want to use, use whatever icons you want. BTW. Donít steal, if you come across an icon you want to use, simply ask the owner. I have never been turned down. Then simply access your page over the internet it will show the status of devices whether on or off (icon illuminated or not). Click on an icon to turn a device on or off. or trigger actions & macros.
If you would like to see some control pages that others have done, go to:
http://www.perceptiveautomation.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1506

Next: I'm hoping my "Round Tuitt" fixes itself. Otherwise I may not get "Round Tuitt"  ::)  ;D ;D ;D
Anyhow, I have an old (not working) Mac G4 Cube. It has a small footprint (9.8" H x 7.7" W x 7.7" D). This winter I plan on possible repairing it.
Depending on cost I might get a used Mini Mac (2' H x 6.6" W x 6.5" D)  instead.
My plan is to install it in the AV cabinet and use it as my Whole House Server.
Allowing me to control all of my AV equipment as well as my HA. I'll also be able to access to my main computer, connect to the web & E-mail.

When I first got into X10, 16 months ago; I never imagined things would go this far.
I've got to say. It sure has been fun.
Hey maybe, I'll automate the mister on the back porch next. Automated sprinklers, so why not misters ?
And the fun continues.

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HA Dave

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Re: Speech
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 09:22:44 AM »

I am impressed Duck69 you have an excellent system!

I also setup a older computer to act as a HA computer. Although it works fine with AHP, it just isn't as good with the voice (even after a DRAM upgrade) as my "main" computer. However, I rarely use the main computer anymore, as I am becoming pretty much a laptop guy. So I now have a back-up HA PC.

I started with X10 three-four years ago. I wanted a little wow-factor with my Home Theater and couldn't afford an electric (motorized) screen. My first macro command was "theater on", which setup my theater lighting. I've gotten a lot of dropped jaws with that one.

Your right about the microphone setup being the touchy part of the voice control setup. But I've pretty much worked that out, although small kids can be a problem as they can generate large amounts of random noise.

I have to admit there is a good feeling with setting in my office and saying "computer... dim lights by fifty percent". It's sort of a StarTrek moment. But to be honest... I really like BVC/Kate telling me of things that go on around me. I hope to get to the point where the home is automated, and [the] voice will let me know, what would be of interest to me or need my attention.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 12:28:55 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Re: Speech
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 04:43:05 PM »

Duck69,

All I can say is WOW!† A very impressive setup, and in only 16 months?† †:o† †8)

Looks like the "HA bug" bit you bad!† †;D

IMHO, you should:
  • a)† Post this in the contest thread!
  • b)† Create a package of all of the needed software -n- such and re-sell it to MAC users!

Did I say; "WOW!" already?† †;D
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Duck69

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Re: Speech
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 07:57:46 PM »

I just wanted to let everyone know that I would still be nowhere if it weren't for the tremendous help given to me by the members of this forum. Thank you all very much.

I'd like to especially thank Brian H.
He was the first one to help me and he did a lot of hand holding while walking me through a lot of learning.
I sure don't know where he got his patience. I would have told me to bug off for thinking that I had a private tutor who had nothing better to do.
† †
Thanks Brian H.
 See, with all of those PM's and e-mails we sent back & forth, I did learn something.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 12:06:22 PM by Duck69 »
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Duck69

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Re: Speech
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 01:41:44 PM »

-Bill- (of wgjohns.com) & Dave_x10_L
Thank you guys for the very nice remarks. I appreciate them. They made me fee pretty good.

Your remarks:
Dave_x10_L "I am impressed Duck69 you have an excellent system!"
-Bill- (of wgjohns.com) "All I can say is WOW!† A very impressive setup, and in only 16 months?"

My answer:
My system would not be anywhere as advanced and stable as it is (Heck it may not even be up & running.) without the AWESOME help I received from the members of this forum. Such as the both of you, and (in no particular order) Brian H, TTA (Take the Active), JimC, Tuicemen, steven r, KDR, Charles Sullivan and others.
So many people don't realize or fully appreciate the time and effort or amount of help freely and without any recompense so many you give to this community. I for one do and thank you all.

Here are 3 of my posts from May '06.
1) Can I use 2 modules with the same house code and unit code at the same time ?
As an example can I have 2 different modules set to House Code H and both Unit codes set to 5.
2): I am confused about installing the UM506 to control my garage door.
Could someone explain Momentary contact and Continuous contact ?
What position do I use to simply open and close the door as the original control does ?
3)† I attempted to install an appliance module with a small fan. Nil, Nothing, Zero, Zip response.
Followed the instructions, tried on 5 different outlets around the house, tried different modules and different PalmPad Controllers. (Yes the fan works.)

Believe me there were many others that were just as or even more simplistic. BUT they weren't to me at the time.
I think that I once asked "What does a house code do ?"

This just goes to show just how wonderful the people here are. No one ever told me that I was stupid or made fun of me. As a matter of fact I was not just given answers but explanations also.

There were times: That I didn't know how to express what I wanted to ask,† that I got sick & tired of reading & reading & getting nowhere (Frustrated), I got confused, I got angry. I believe that I've gone through every emotion there is while on this forum.
BUT like all other families, My X10 family always saw me through.

And now back to .....

Dave_x10_L, As to the microphones, although some have very good filtering for NORMAL background noise such as conversations and AV devices . The high pitched voices and especially the squeals of children can interfere with ANYTHING ! At times I believe that it can even interfere with the peaceful sleep of the dead.† ;D

-Bill- (of wgjohns.com), IMHO, you should:
a)† Post this in the contest thread!
b)† Create a package of all of the needed software -n- such and re-sell it to MAC users!
Bill, Please read my signature. Are you actually asking me to exert myself ?† ;D
Truthfully, I am not at all interested in entering the contest, although I am curious to see what others enter. As to creating a package and selling it. It is a good idea,† but I have to beg off from that also as I feel I wont be able to provide adequate support† to customers.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 01:45:34 PM by Duck69 »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Speech
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 03:40:46 PM »

Duck69 nice thread!
Thanks for the recognition of myself and other volunteers, it means a lot to me! ;) :D ;D
Dave_x10_L and my self have experimented with† bluetooth dongles on the PC with limited success! Mind you I only used the class 2 headset! :-[ I guess I'll have to look around for a class 1 headset!
I'm impressed with the range of the
Plantronics CS50 headset , wow 200 feet! :o
Your posts in this thread have inspired me to keep experimenting with blue tooth! ;) :D ;D
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Duck69

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Re: Speech
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 04:37:43 PM »

A word about Bluetooth. You will read many an article that will state that all you need to increase the range of Bluetooth is a Class 1 dongle.
I am no Electronics Engineer, BUT. I can tell you this: Those EXPERTS are just plain WRONG ! Class 3 is less than 10 feet, Class 2 is about 30-33 feet, Class 1 is 300-330 feet.
If you try to use a Class 3 device with Class 2 receiver you MAY get a little more than 10 feet etc... But that it.
It's not like sticking a receiving antenna up in your attic to improve the range of X10.
To increase Bluetooth range, you have to use a like Class on both ends.
Example: If computer has Class 2 you'll have to use a Class 2 device to get 30 - 33 feet.
To get the longer 300 - 330 feet range they both have to be Class 1.

I got the range I did because my computer has Class 1 Bluetooth and the CS50 headset is also a Class 1 device.

Then again if you wanted to, you could use WiFi.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Speech
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 04:45:49 PM »

Thanks† Duck69 † I have a class 1 dongle and class 2 headset I can hear the pc anwhere on my lot but the headset will only send 30 feet and not through more then one wall! :(
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HA Dave

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Re: Speech
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 07:24:25 PM »

Tuicemen and I did try the bluetooth together (or at least at the same time). I was impressed with the quality of sound transmitted through the bluetooth! But am content with the setup I have now also.

I haven't taken the time to go further with bluetooth and VB writting, but thats what I would like to do. My cell phone also has bluetooth, and it will also connect to the dongle... and therefore the PC. I think the computer/AHP/BVC could identify me (by the Bluetooth code emitted by my phone) and run welcome, or leaving macros (alarm on/off).... the possibility's are endless.
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KDR

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Re: Speech
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007, 07:34:24 PM »

Thanks Duck69 for the posted info using bluetooth. Although at the moment I lag behind you and Dave_x10_L with speech I am heading in that direction. I only have a PC mic hooked up and am playing with BVC. I think I will give bluetooth a go when I get ready to expand beyond the basement† ;D

Till then I will keep an eye on your very Helpful posts.

----------------KDR
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