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I have begun planning a small home automation system for my new house and was very interested in voice recognition. I was thinking of a Homeseer/Mainlobby combination. Any other good recommendations?


PS: System would start off as lighting/HVAC/home theater.


Thanks.
 

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Take a look at Home Automated Living (HAL) and Mainlobby. HAL is standard with voice recognition. Just be warned voice is not the easiest thing to make work reliably and normally requires some creative thinking and use of equipment to make it work.


Starting off look at your needs and budget. Home theater is normally the cheapest when starting out since the only specialty piece is and IR transceiver. Lighting is probly next since most systems support pluging lamp modules that are easy to install. Hardwired lighting is going to cost a little more and requires you to be comfortable working with electricity. Nothing too heavy though so the average DIYer can do it. HVAC is for most systems the toughest. The selection of thermistats isn' t that wide so prices are often higher and the return isn't as noticable so the WAF is lower than the other two areas.
 

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To set budget expectations, the one person I know who's got VR working well spent something like $4K or more on hardware, including a solid mixer, in order to get it working reliably.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LathanM /forum/post/0


Take a look at Home Automated Living (HAL).

He'd be better off giving the money to the crack addict begging for money on the corner. At least with the crack addict he gets rid of his money and doesn't incur the stress of wasting countless hours trying to get that defective worthless POS to work. NOT a company you want to do business with and I have no axe to grind other than having tested voice rec with numerous products and never having encountered a single person that was happy with HAL or found it to work as advertised.
 

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There have been quite a few very enthusiastic and happy HAL users that frequently post on the MainLobby forum (which is where I would see them).


VR is a PITA to get working but a fun demo for friends (and the press who seems captivated by it). Not for every day use. Get a touchscreen and a good simple hard button remote control.
 

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Haven't run it myself so I can only go by the info on their site.


Voice rec does work though. I have been running a mix of Dragon Dictate and ViaVoice for years and love it . The problem is expanding it out to open air mikes is not easy.
 

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VR is a huge interest of mine and I've been testing it for years. I'd rate HAL as the worst I've ever used by a long shot. There's a very good reason they always show the guy in the ad talking to the system over a phone because God help you if you use open air. Admittedly it's been a while since I used it but I tried several generations of it. I also used it on an installation once, gave it to the Client for free as a gag thing for showing friends and even for free I had to take it out! It seemed to always think his cat was saying the "wake-up" word and I am NOT joking.


Programs such as Dragon and Via Voice are quite good. I've also used numerous solutions on mobile phones some of which work quite well. I found Voice Signal Technologies to be very good for cell phone use.
 

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 AIVMS has voice command capabilities included. I usually suggest using one of the bluetooth headsets typically used by cell phones rather than an expensive open air system for voice command. BT headsets are extremely small, even fit in your pocket, and they are also perfect for talking to friends when a VOIP call comes in. AIVMS has VOIP integration, in fact its a completely hands free VOIP system that allows you to place and answer calls using only voice commands. You can map voice commands to IR signals for control of home theatre systems along with voice command home automation control. The HA capability is still somewhat limited as we have really not seen much interest in that functionality so far. It can control X10 based equipment, and is unique in its ability to integrate Phidgets sensors and controls into the system.
 

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I'm with QQQ on this. To reveal yourself and how everything out of your mouth is really just a sales pitch is the ethical thing to do.
 
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