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HomeSeer Amazon Echo Connected Home API Discussions related to the Amazon Echo native support for connected home products

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  #1  
Old April 10th, 2017, 02:42 PM
kenm kenm is offline
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Well, The Experiment is OVER

Deployed 5x Amazon Echo Dots (2nd Gen) over the Christmas holiday but they have not met my wife's reliability requirements.

Gave three away to co-workers and the other two + a spare are for sale here:

https://forums.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=188387

Ken
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  #2  
Old April 10th, 2017, 03:02 PM
DeLicious DeLicious is offline
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What were you hoping they do that they could not accomplish?


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  #3  
Old April 10th, 2017, 04:45 PM
kenm kenm is offline
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They were supposed to supplement the 4x iPad HSTouch screens in the house but weren't consistent in their operation. If you look at the process of turning a light on end-to-end using an Echo vs. a Touchscreen or keypad I think you can get the idea. In the case of the touchscreen, an app on an iPad talks over WiFi to HSTouch server running locally on the home network. In the case of the Echo it talks over WiFi to an AP, to a router, AVS, AWS Lambda, Skill, MyHomeSeer, router, HomeSeer in the house. Just too many moving parts to make it reliable, particularly when I don't have control over most of the parts.

I have a very solid Z-Wave network that "just works" 99%+ of the time. HSTouch is about 98%, and the Echos were 79% over the three months we used them. Yes, We started keeping track the second week. When I started noticing that my wife would walk to a touchscreen to do something vs. asking Alexa to do it I knew she had given up.

Ken
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  #4  
Old April 11th, 2017, 06:36 AM
naellis naellis is offline
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I know what you mean. Have you tried or considered the HA-bridge implementation which avoids the net completely. Once set up it works very well. That's what I used here in the UK before the Homeseer skill was released. I've been using the Homeseer skill since but I am finding I have to say the commend twice a bit too often and I'm getting a bit fed up with it. I think I will be reverting to the HA-bridge to finally judge which is more reliable.
Neil
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  #5  
Old April 11th, 2017, 08:27 AM
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rmorton27 rmorton27 is offline
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Version

Homeseer this morning decided that I needed to upgrade to HS3 version 239 or later. The only problem with that ANNOYING message is THAT I'm running version 318!
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  #6  
Old April 11th, 2017, 08:35 AM
Simonk Simonk is online now
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Originally Posted by rmorton27 View Post
Homeseer this morning decided that I needed to upgrade to HS3 version 239 or later. The only problem with that ANNOYING message is THAT I'm running version 318!
Same issue here, do you know how to fix it?!
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  #7  
Old April 11th, 2017, 08:43 AM
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vasrc vasrc is offline
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Originally Posted by naellis View Post
I know what you mean. Have you tried or considered the HA-bridge implementation which avoids the net completely. Once set up it works very well. That's what I used here in the UK before the Homeseer skill was released. I've been using the Homeseer skill since but I am finding I have to say the commend twice a bit too often and I'm getting a bit fed up with it. I think I will be reverting to the HA-bridge to finally judge which is more reliable.
Neil
I thought, that whether you use HA-bridge or HS3, when using Echo or Google the voice recognition is still done in the "cloud" (ie Voice->VR device->vendor cloud (AVS)->skill/API->user device). You still need to 'net' to decode the actual voice command??

Z
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  #8  
Old April 11th, 2017, 09:01 AM
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happnatious1 happnatious1 is offline
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Originally Posted by kenm View Post
They were supposed to supplement the 4x iPad HSTouch screens in the house but weren't consistent in their operation. If you look at the process of turning a light on end-to-end using an Echo vs. a Touchscreen or keypad I think you can get the idea. In the case of the touchscreen, an app on an iPad talks over WiFi to HSTouch server running locally on the home network. In the case of the Echo it talks over WiFi to an AP, to a router, AVS, AWS Lambda, Skill, MyHomeSeer, router, HomeSeer in the house. Just too many moving parts to make it reliable, particularly when I don't have control over most of the parts.

Ken
You left out the NSA.
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  #9  
Old April 11th, 2017, 09:03 AM
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vasrc vasrc is offline
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Originally Posted by happnatious1 View Post
You left out the NSA.
But that's the most reliable part, it never goes down, so not a problem

Z
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  #10  
Old April 11th, 2017, 03:06 PM
snedecor snedecor is offline
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We use the bridge that looks like a Philips Hue

We have great response and nearly 100% reliability (other than Echo mis-hearing the command).

We use the echo bridge software that looks like a Philips Hue.


Me: Alexa, turn off the Master Bedroom Light,

Alexa: OK

Response time probably less than a second. The path is Echo, to the PC running the bridge (which is my Homeseer machine), Homeseer, device.
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  #11  
Old April 11th, 2017, 04:34 PM
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ArbWare ArbWare is offline
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Originally Posted by rmorton27 View Post
Homeseer this morning decided that I needed to upgrade to HS3 version 239 or later. The only problem with that ANNOYING message is THAT I'm running version 318!
Same issue this morning.. haven't checked back to see if it has resolved itself. Any news/ideas?
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  #12  
Old April 11th, 2017, 05:04 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Originally Posted by snedecor View Post
We have great response and nearly 100% reliability (other than Echo mis-hearing the command).

We use the echo bridge software that looks like a Philips Hue.


Me: Alexa, turn off the Master Bedroom Light,

Alexa: OK

Response time probably less than a second. The path is Echo, to the PC running the bridge (which is my Homeseer machine), Homeseer, device.
Not quite. It's your voice -> Echo -> Amazon servers to do voice recognition -> back to Echo -> To your PC running the bridge -> To Homeseer, -> device.

There is no voice recognition in the Echo. It is all done "in the cloud". yes it removes the 1 dependency of MyHS, but you are still dependent on the cloud. As a fun experiment, unplug your internet modem (keeping the rest of your network up) and try it It should not work.
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  #13  
Old April 11th, 2017, 07:05 PM
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rprade rprade is offline
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Originally Posted by sirmeili View Post
Not quite. It's your voice -> Echo -> Amazon servers to do voice recognition -> back to Echo -> To your PC running the bridge -> To Homeseer, -> device.

There is no voice recognition in the Echo. It is all done "in the cloud". yes it removes the 1 dependency of MyHS, but you are still dependent on the cloud. As a fun experiment, unplug your internet modem (keeping the rest of your network up) and try it It should not work.
Not only will it not work without Internet, it also will not work with slow upload speeds. Last year Comcast had a problem and we were unable to get more than 1mb upload speeds and Echo went brain dead. The blue lights would spin, but she was unresponsive. I spoke with Amazon technical and they acknowledged that the Echo needs good upstream bandwidth or she will not respond. They indicated they were going to try to build in some sort of response when there was a connection problem, but I don't know if they ever did.
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  #14  
Old April 11th, 2017, 10:23 PM
BeenHeavyinFlorida BeenHeavyinFlorida is offline
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Originally Posted by rmorton27 View Post
Homeseer this morning decided that I needed to upgrade to HS3 version 239 or later. The only problem with that ANNOYING message is THAT I'm running version 318!


This comes and goes for me over the last few days. Sent a complaint to Amazon. Using Echo saves only a second or two versus a smartphone or tablet. Just one or two instances of an error like this and the whole idea is a bust. Needs to be more reliable.


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  #15  
Old April 11th, 2017, 11:29 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenm View Post
They were supposed to supplement the 4x iPad HSTouch screens in the house but weren't consistent in their operation. If you look at the process of turning a light on end-to-end using an Echo vs. a Touchscreen or keypad I think you can get the idea. In the case of the touchscreen, an app on an iPad talks over WiFi to HSTouch server running locally on the home network. In the case of the Echo it talks over WiFi to an AP, to a router, AVS, AWS Lambda, Skill, MyHomeSeer, router, HomeSeer in the house. Just too many moving parts to make it reliable, particularly when I don't have control over most of the parts.

I have a very solid Z-Wave network that "just works" 99%+ of the time. HSTouch is about 98%, and the Echos were 79% over the three months we used them. Yes, We started keeping track the second week. When I started noticing that my wife would walk to a touchscreen to do something vs. asking Alexa to do it I knew she had given up.

Ken
I use the echo, but we don't really use them for "control" that much. If i'm in the kitchen and notice I left my office on, it really is faster for me to say "Alexa, tell the house to turn off the office" and it's done than to pull out (or find) my phone. Same thing in the bedroom if I forget to turn on the ceiling fan: "Echo, tell the house to turn the master bedroom ceiling fan to high".

Most of my personal use is for queries. I can say "Alexa, ask the house where Sara is." and it will tell me "Sars is at X" or "Sara is driving down Y road"..... At the same time, when I have to trek to Tampa for work, The system knows when I've been "at work" and that I'm driving towards home...so she can say "Alexa, ask the house where Frank is" and she'll reply "Frank is currently driving home and is in X city. He should arrive home in Y minutes". It's a convenience thing and she likes that she can easily see where I am and how much longer till I get home. it's a 2 hour drive, so she worries on those days.

That said, as soon as I can find an affordable e-ink display of adequate size, I plan on putting up a central information center in the house for things like that (calendar, where people are, etc). I don't care if it's touchscreen or not, but that would be bonus. At that point, I'm not sure we will use the voice control as much as our house is fairly small and the public areas are all centrally located.
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  #16  
Old July 9th, 2017, 12:05 AM
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rmorton27 rmorton27 is offline
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Originally Posted by sirmeili View Post
... I can say "Alexa, ask the house where Sara is." and it will tell me "Sars is at X" or "Sara is driving down Y road"..... At the same time, when I have to trek to Tampa for work, The system knows when I've been "at work" and that I'm driving towards home...so she can say "Alexa, ask the house where Frank is" and she'll reply "Frank is currently driving home and is in X city. He should arrive home in Y minutes". It's a convenience thing and she likes that she can easily see where I am and how much longer till I get home. it's a 2 hour drive, so she worries on those days.
I wonder if I could ask what "magic dust" allows Alexa to locate people out and about. Thanks

-rick
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  #17  
Old July 9th, 2017, 01:46 AM
logbuilder logbuilder is offline
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It is interesting to see folks testing these new devices. As far as controlling HA devices, it seems like the latency would be a big negative. Also, in my limited experience with using them, my strong southern accent becomes a problem.

But my biggest barrier to jumping in is that I am on a metered connection. Only 10 GB per month. To keep within that limit, we really don't do any streaming video or music/sound. We are rural so no other alternatives. No cell either.

On the other hand, being bandwidth limited is what made HS3 so attractive since it generally doesn't require outside resources.
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  #18  
Old July 9th, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rmorton27 View Post
I wonder if I could ask what "magic dust" allows Alexa to locate people out and about. Thanks

-rick

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  #19  
Old July 12th, 2017, 12:53 AM
Kerat Kerat is offline
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Well, The Experiment is OVER

Ok, I'm taking the echo dot plunge. I am hoping to integrate HS3, Emby, and Rachio.

Also I am hoping to get notifications to pass through the echo dot.


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  #20  
Old July 12th, 2017, 03:17 PM
sirmeili sirmeili is offline
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Originally Posted by rmorton27 View Post
I wonder if I could ask what "magic dust" allows Alexa to locate people out and about. Thanks

-rick
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Originally Posted by S-F View Post
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@S-F is correct
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