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Alexa Plug-in - User Guide

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  • Alexa Plug-in - User Guide


    System Requirements:

    This plugin is for HS3 or HS3PRO. It works only on Windows.

    You need to download and install
    1. the Microsoft Speech Platform - Runtime (version 11) You need the x86 version even on a 64bits machine.
    2. and at least one compatible Runtime Language (e.g. MSSpeech_SR_en-US_TELE.msi)

    Note: if you already have the kinect plug-in installed, you should already have everything you need.

    Plugin Installation:
    Download and install from the updater ("User Interfaces" section) or download package from the Beta Testing thread and follow instructions to install.

    Plugin Configuration
    - Start the plugin from the "PLUG-INS > Manage" page wait a few seconds for the plugin to initialize
    - go to the config page "PLUG-INS > Alexa > Config" and click the "Authorize" button
    then you should see a page like this:
    Click image for larger version

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    - Click Okay, then go back to the plugin config page and click the "Done" button. If everything is ok, the config page should be refreshed, and you should see something like in the screenshot below.
    - Click the "Test" button, you should hear a quick sound that means Alexa has started listening. Say something like "Tell me a joke" or "What time is it?", after another sound that means Alexa has stopped listening, she should answer you.

    Click image for larger version

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    In the Audio settings section you can choose the microphone and speakers you want to use. Any microphone and speakers compatible with Windows should work with the plugin (including the Microsoft Kinect)

    Alexa Configuration

    From:, click on your device and set your zip code. Modify other settings according to your tastes.
    Last edited by spud; October 6th, 2015, 01:30 PM.

  • #2

    Alexa is not always listening, so you have a complete control over what is being sent to the amazon cloud for processing.
    There are 3 ways to make Alexa starts listening:

    1. Click the test button on the config page
    Click image for larger version

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    2. Use the "Alexa Action: Start Listening" from a HS event
    Click image for larger version

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    3. Enable the "Attention Phrase Recognition" from the config page and say "Alexa" (or whatever is your attention phrase)
    Click image for larger version

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    Whatever method is used to start, Alexa will stop listening and process your request when the plugin detects silence for about 2 seconds. (background noise or music can be a problem)
    When Alexa starts and stops listening some notification sounds are played, namely Data/Alexa/sound/start.wav and Data/Alexa/sound/stop.wav. After the stop sound and once she has processed your request you should hear an answer from Alexa.
    Last edited by spud; October 2nd, 2015, 09:51 AM.


    • #3

      You can run multiple instances of the plugin, either remotely (on another Windows machine) or on the same machine than HomeSeer

      To run a remote instance, you need first to install the plug-in on your HS machine (but you don't have to enable it) so that HS doesn't complain about licensing issue when you start your remote instance.

      • copy HSPI_Alexa.exe, and all the dlls in bin/Alexa to a directory on your remote computer
      • copy the folder Data/Alexa from your HS3 directory to the same remote directory and keep the same directory tree (i.e Data/Alexa)
      • copy HomeSeerAPI.dll, HSCF.dll and Scheduler.dll from your HS3 directory to the same remote directory
      • install the microsoft speech platform and runtime language on your remote computer as explained above in the Prerequisites section
      • open a command prompt on your remote computer
      • cd to the directory, then type HSPI_Alexa.exe server=<ip_of_your_hs_machine> instance=<instance_name>

      where <instance_name> can be anything you want but only alpha numeric characters