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  • New Alexa "Announce" Feature

    Having fun making announcements through my house using the new Alexa "Announce" feature. Now I'm wondering how this will be integrated into Homeseer for system announcements?

  • #2
    HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
    2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

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    • #3
      The intercom system isn't really designed for that.

      That said, I did build a function on our site called "Mirror_Text" which echos back whatever text is sent to it from an intent slot called "TextToMirror"

      The code on the Amazon side should look like the custom skill, except instead of "Parse_Text" and "TextToParse" you have "Mirror_Text" and "TextToMirror".

      So if you said, "Alexa, tell 'wakeword' to "There's someone at the front door", the echo would reply with "There's someone at the front door".

      The idea is to use the voice SDK to build an Alexa app (there's a plugin that uses this code already, so I know this part works.) and send an audio command to the mirror text to get back the message in the echo voice.

      Then, you can send it out via bluetooth to the echo and viola! unprompted announcements!

      The only part not done is getting the audio file into the Amazon SDK to send it to Amazon.

      Most of the parts are already out there..., it just needs one or two more things, and then the pieces need to be combined into one complete plugin.

      Then, you can have homeseer do text-to-speech and it would spit it out through the echo using the Alexa voice.
      Wade

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sgt. Shultz View Post
        The intercom system isn't really designed for that.

        That said, I did build a function on our site called "Mirror_Text" which echos back whatever text is sent to it from an intent slot called "TextToMirror"

        The code on the Amazon side should look like the custom skill, except instead of "Parse_Text" and "TextToParse" you have "Mirror_Text" and "TextToMirror".

        So if you said, "Alexa, tell 'wakeword' to "There's someone at the front door", the echo would reply with "There's someone at the front door".

        The idea is to use the voice SDK to build an Alexa app (there's a plugin that uses this code already, so I know this part works.) and send an audio command to the mirror text to get back the message in the echo voice.

        Then, you can send it out via bluetooth to the echo and viola! unprompted announcements!

        The only part not done is getting the audio file into the Amazon SDK to send it to Amazon.

        Most of the parts are already out there..., it just needs one or two more things, and then the pieces need to be combined into one complete plugin.

        Then, you can have homeseer do text-to-speech and it would spit it out through the echo using the Alexa voice.
        Wade

        I think they just released a new Announcement feature yesterday. I think if we put an echo near to a HS driven speaker, we can now have an announcement made across all other echo products in the house - without the previously released notification piece. Going to try it when I get home.
        cheeryfool

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        • #5
          I'm aware of the announcement feature.

          If you just want it to say messages unannounced not in the echo voice, then I'd go straight bluetooth..., we tested that early on and it worked fine.
          Wade

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          I know nothing...., nothing!!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sgt. Shultz View Post
            I'm aware of the announcement feature.

            If you just want it to say messages unannounced not in the echo voice, then I'd go straight bluetooth..., we tested that early on and it worked fine.
            Isn't Bluetooth limited to a single Echo speaker to a time? The key point in the new announce feature is that it broadcasts to all echos in your household. Makes an excellent hands-free paging system with hands-free response.

            If you have Homeseer speak to an Echo to make the announcement it will be to all Echo speakers and use your chosen Homeseer voice.

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            • #7
              I thought about the solution with the speaker.

              Maybe an input jack could be installed on the echo that's tied to one of the mics, then run that to the output of the HomeSeer PC.

              Then you wouldn't hear the "Alexa, announce someone is at the door" message, you would just hear the broadcast "someone is at the door"


              Don't be mad at me if it don't work, 'cuz I haven't tried it yet. (but when I get a chance, I will!)
              Wade

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              I know nothing...., nothing!!!

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  I don't think the announce feature makes any attempt to broadcast the message in sync to all speakers. The delay from one to another is significant but I like the effect because it kind of gets people's attention.

                  You can always put a Dot and a HS fed speaker in a box to isolate the link if you don't want to hear the direct HS audio. Low tech but reliable and cheap.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by upstatemike View Post
                    I don't think the announce feature makes any attempt to broadcast the message in sync to all speakers. The delay from one to another is significant but I like the effect because it kind of gets people's attention.

                    You can always put a Dot and a HS fed speaker in a box to isolate the link if you don't want to hear the direct HS audio. Low tech but reliable and cheap.

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                    • #11

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                      • #12
                        This is what I do and works quite well!

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                        • #13
                          If you do not want to broadcast the message to all HS3 clients, you can click the red airplane icon for advanced options and specify speech to only go to the Homeseer speaker client next to the Alexa. That way I do not hear the "alexa, announce ..." then the Alexa making the announce.

                          It is a bit of a hack, but using a google home mini as a bluetooth speaker. It is next to an Alexa. I put both in a closet in a shoe box, as someone suggested. Works surprisingly well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cowsr4eating View Post

                            It is a bit of a hack, but using a google home mini as a bluetooth speaker. It is next to an Alexa. I put both in a closet in a shoe box, as someone suggested. Works surprisingly well.
                            Sometimes the simplest solutions work the best!

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                            • #15
                              My wife thinks Alexa is so smart telling us when the gate is opened, when someone unlocks a door or reminds us at night the garage door was left open. If you listen closely in the closet you hear HS3 telling Alexa to announce these things from a shoe box! My techie buddies all LOL ... the "closet tour" will be part of my home automation tour going forward.

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