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  • Recent Convert.....

    I have recently converted from HAL. Before I converted I lurked in these forums for a long time. It was really the users along with the HS staff answering the users, that put the nail in the HAL cofin for me.

    I have to say I am really happy with the change and have posted many times always getting a response with someone willing to help.

    There is just one thing I am wondering about. The Voice control. It is the olny thing that leaves me wanting HAL. I was wondering if there was any plans for upgrading the voice mechanizim in HS. With the right mics it can be such a powerful tool, but it has been the only part giving me difficulty.

    With HAL it was very easy right after setup to get the status of the lights or an event, but it seems a little more complicated in HS. As I have seen HS grow I am sure it will also grow in the Voice section.

    I must say I am happy with the change and really love the support the users as well as the staff at HS give. Plus the ability to work with Main Lobby and the up-comming plugin the Windows Media Center make HS a grand Slam.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Hi Greg and welcome, you may have seen my posts in the Hal webboard anyway, like you I did like the voice commands on Hal, BUT!! with time and some effort you will not look back.

    IMO HS is more stable, better supported, more powerful and theres just soooo much more you can do with it.

    I still use my Hal PCI modem, I have not been able to get Hal voices to work with HS which is a real shame as I have the UK Charles and Audrey voices.

    Still thats life, hope you enjoy HS as much as I am.

    TrOjAn

    Comment


    • #3
      Greg/TrOjAn,

      Thanks for joining and I am very glad you like HomeSeer. Let me try to address or at least explain the differences you are seeing.

      First the easy one from TrOjAn: You will never get your HAL voices to work with HomeSeer. HAL took the closed, proprietary approach to integrating the voices into their product. They used a closed, proprietary API from AT&T so that you would be REQUIRED to buy the voices from them and only them, and they could not be used with any other SAPI enabled application. Furthermore, while I have not confirmed this, I believe you only got the 8KHz voices with HAL whereas we were selling (at about the same price) both the 8KHz voices (for use with the phone) and the higher quality 16KHz voices. The way that they are used in HomeSeer is through the industry standard Speech API. This means that you could purchase any SAPI 4 or SAPI 5 compatible TTS engine and use it with HomeSeer. There is a thread somewhere on the board here where people who used the AT&T voices that they got from us found a source for more voices. That source is a good place to go and get the exact same Charles and Audrey voices that you have grown to love. ;-)

      Greg: It is not necessarily a lack of a feature, but more the lack of some built-in functionality. With HAL, you had a lot of voice context commands that were set up to operate devices, but there was less flexibility available to change the contexts or add your own. You had to create macros and set up a launch phrase to do some of the special things that you want to do in voice recognition with it. In HomeSeer, script commands give you access to the voice recognition context -- it is just that nobody has written a script that adds to the context the kind of status and time based commands that you are used to having. On the plus side, you can do dictation and set up commands using a context that allows for optional words to be spoken. I am not sure if HAL ever allowed that, but as an example, you can set up an event that reads your daily horoscope using HomeSeer and set up the recognition phrase to be something like "what is today's horoscope for (aries|pieces|libra...)" and you can then ask for today's horoscope for whatever sign you speak after the "what is today's horoscope for" part of it. After seeing that one script that was put together to enable On/Off/Dim commands similar to what HAL provided become popular, we added that functionality directly into HomeSeer. Now, when you check the voice control box on a device, you DO have the kind of "turn on..." commands available that HAL provided. We do listen to people and have contemplated adding some future control and status VR commands, but in our experience we find that most people typically get bored of the voice recognition when they have web browsers all over the house and lose interest in it. Thus, we still evaluate this from time to time and consider adding it directly. It is definitely possible to add this using a script, but we realize that many people lack the script skills to do this. Perhaps somebody will step up to the plate if we do not decide to add this capability directly. We are currently evaluating features for the next release, so I will be sure to bring this up with Rich again for our consideration.

      Thanks again for choosing HomeSeer!
      Regards,

      Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

      Comment


      • #4
        Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

        Firstly, one of the main reasons for comming over to HS was this kind of support! answers to questions within a reasonable time, someone that knows the product and as you say, listens to its users.

        Thanks for the info Re: the voices, that will save me alot of time trying to get them working.

        Perhaps you can answer another quicky question, as I use the homephone system to comunicate with HS is it possible to direct HS`s normal answers / sounds to the phone?. ie: pickup handset, press # "instructions please" what is todays weather? then HS reads the weather forcast for that day?

        In hal it was possible to do that as like you say it was inbuilt with a internet connection that got the info every hour.

        Cheers for GREAT support and an even better product, I am glad I came over to HS

        Comment


        • #5
          Check out WeatherXML from the updater. It uses the system command for speak so it answers based on where the request came from.
          If you use VR via the phone, it speaks the weather through the phone. If you use a mic, it speaks the weather through the computers sound card.

          You can also ask things like "What is Fridays forecast?"
          --
          Jeff Farmer
          HS 3, HSPhone
          My HS3 Plugins: CFHSExtras, Random, Restart, Tracker, WeatherXML, PanaBluRay
          Other Plugins In Use: APCUPSD, BLOnkyo, Device History, EasyTrigger, HSTouch Server, PHLocation2, Pushover, RFXCom, UltraGCIR3, UltraMon3, UltraPioneerAVR3, X10, Z-Wave

          Hardware: GoControl Irrigation Controler, Schlage Lever Lock, Schlage Deadbolt, Way2Call Hi-Phone, RFXCom RFXrec433 Receiver, WGL 800, TI-103, Z-Net, Pioneer 1120, Pioneer 1021, Pioneer LX302, Panasonic BDT-110, Panasonic BDT-210 x2

          Comment


          • #6
            I didn't realize I took the HST/Forum support for granted until all of my recent dealings with PocketPC/GPS software companies. What a nightmare. There really is nothing more frustrating than having problem after problem and noone to return your emails or calls. Even the forums I visited were used about as often as my Commodore 64. =)

            Anyway, great job guys!

            -Tom
            -Tom

            Visit Kernhome
            Kern Theater Gallery

            (User: guest / Pass: guest)

            Comment


            • #7
              TrOjAn,

              As Jeff mentioned, you can write a script or plug-in to speak output to the device you want, but if you use the system directive, then HomeSeer knows where the interaction is coming from and directs the output there.

              Most people write systems that use ASR/TTS with the phone in mind, so you should find most ASR commands issued over the phone will respond over the phone - it is easy to change if that is not the case with one.

              Let us know if any other questions arise!
              Regards,

              Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

              Comment


              • #8
                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rick Tinker (HomeSeer Tech):
                TrOjAn,

                Let us know if any other questions arise! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                I have hundreds so Ill space them out a bit dont want it loking like TrOjAn`s help message board now do we.

                TrOjAn

                Comment

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