Select Page
AutoVoice 3.0

AutoVoice 3.0

In the video here you will see, how Google Home and Alexa interact together by using predefined commands but also the natural language feature. Regardless if you say “hello”, “hi” or “howdy” it will be mapped to the hello action. You can also integrate variables for users in terms of names, which will be carried throughout the conversation or if you don’t include a name, AutoVoice will prompt you for that.

Given that I already have Tasker, AutoVera, AutoHue, AutoRemote and I did purchase AutoVoice Pro 2.0 back then and I received the upgrade to AutoVoice 3.0 as part of that purchase, I am going to test this new functionality with Home automation hubs. Vera was already supported with AutoVera as I demonstrated with the Doorbell posting including reporting the status of a Z-wave device through Tasker and AutoVera.

Now it is time to validate Homeseer with Alexa and see, if the AutoVoice will work in conjunction with Homeseer skill on Alexa. There are two Homeseer skills. One skill with saying “Alexa, ask Homeseer to…” and the second one simply saying “Alexa, turn on …”. In this case I will have to say “Alexa, ask AutoVoice to …”. In theory this should work well, but if Homeseer was able to integrate a second skill without having the need to call out “Homeseer” then AutoVoice should accomplish the same. That would be a great feature to have, but I will not start judging here until I actually tested it.

In the meantime enjoy the small video having Google Home and Alexa talking to each other. Pretty fun!

In January 2016 I posted in my posting about How to create a video Intercom using Tablets in combination with Android. Here we are almost 1.5 years later and one app from the Tasker family called AutoVoice received a major upgrade.

The 2.0 version of AutoVoice used Google Now integration to recognize your voice and trigger certain events on your phone or on your smart hub e.g. Vera by using the other Tasker app called AutoVera. You had to program every command to match your Vera device names and the configuration of Tasker was not the easiest interface.

With the new version 3.0 released this March 2017 AutoVoice now supports Google Home and Alexa. On top of that you can now optionally subscribe to the usage of natural language, which is accomplish using Machine learning integration API.ai.

API.ai is a Rest-ful API subscription service supporting a variety of products including Google Home, Alexa, Cortana, Skype, etc. AutoVoice charges $0.99/month for the natural language feature, which is really a personal preference. If you like to be able to use different words and not have to worry about how you say certain things, then you should go for the natural language integration.

Echo Show

Echo Show

Echo Show

The day after Microsoft announces their Alexa and Google Home competitor called “Invoke” based on Cortana’s voice engine, Amazon releases Echo Show as the latest member of the Alexa Echo Family.

Echo Show has a touch screen and also includes now a calling feature. You can not only control all your smart home devices with your voice as before, but now you are able to watch videos with your voice, place calls and send messages to other Echo member devices (Alexa, Dot) and everybody who has the free Alexa app on their Android or IOS phone.

Powered by Dolby, Echo Show is fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response and expansive sound. Watch as the display comes alive to show song lyrics, custom stations, curated playlists, and album art with Amazon Music. Echo Show also connects to Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn—giving you voice control for all of your music. Echo Show is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like Apple Music from your phone or tablet

Introducing a new way to be together more with the people who matter most. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App. When you’re busy making dinner, just ask Alexa to place a call from your Echo Show to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa App. You can also enable a new feature called Drop In for the special cases when you want to connect with your closest friends and family. For example, you can drop in to let the family know it’s time for dinner, see the baby’s nursery, or check in with a close relative.

With the Alexa App, conversations and contacts go where you go. When you’re away from home, use the app to make a quick call or send a message to your family’s Echo. Alexa calling and messaging is free.

For news and information you can see and hear, just ask Alexa for your video flash briefing from CNN, Bloomberg, and more. Curious about the latest movie trailers or a need a how-to video from YouTube? Just ask.

Echo Show helps keep you organized at home. Start a timer in the kitchen and watch as it counts down, or easily see and manage your family’s calendar. Sign in to the Alexa App to take your to-do and shopping lists with you. Just add an item to the list from home, and whoever is out shopping will see it added instantly on their Alexa App.

Equipped with eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction–even while music is playing.

Echo Show Internals
Smart Home support
Microsoft trying to compete with Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Microsoft trying to compete with Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Invoke

Microsoft is entering the voice assistant market by combining Harman Kardon speaker with the Cortana engine and calling it Invoke. Microsoft has confirmed the release of their Invoke series this fall 2017. No pricing has been published yet, but it is expected that Microsoft will announce pricing or the price range at the Microsoft Build conference.

Being this late to the party, Microsoft can claim targeting the home automation market. The reality is, that Microsoft is roughly 2.5 years behind and even Google Home is still trying to catch up by embedding more and more home automation skills/integration points.

 

In a nutshell Invoke is copying Amazon Alexa and Google Home with some additional features to set this new device apart from their competitors.

  1. Skype voice calling
  2. The speaker has 3 tweeters (Harman quality)
  3. The device has 7 array microphones

 

Microsoft’s investment in their engine Cortana has not provided the return on investment (ROI) yet. Their cell phone release didn’t work as expected and embedding Cortana in Windows 10 did not deliver any of the expected results. Now Cortana has to live in the Invoke speaker device.

Microsoft didn’t announce any partners yet, but they are probably planning on releasing the Cortana API to the public for more partners to integrate with Invoke.

We will soon see, how fast Microsoft will be adding home automation and other skills to their portfolio trying to compete with Amazon and Google. One interesting move from Microsoft is their bot framework allowing developers to copy over Amazon Alexa Skills.

x Shield Logo
This Site Is Protected By
The Shield →

Pin It on Pinterest