Need an opinion on home automation and speech recognition

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I'd like to automate certain simple tasks at home (for example turning
on lights) using voice commands.

I already have a few X10 devices communicating with a linux box.

I'd be very please to hear about your opinion on the subject. Success
stories... Hardware requirements? Is it hard to set up? What to buy?
Good books on the subject?

Thanks a lot,

Re: Need an opinion on home automation and speech recognition


Try them and see what fits "your" needs better.
I use Homeseer and CharmedQuark

Never mind on the above this are windows programs. Not sure on Linux
I'm sure others will chime in.

A good forum that is laid out to explain is

Visit and read lots of articles and explainations.

What to buy?
Depends on many things.
What do you want to do?

Hard to setup?
Pretty easy if you don't mind wiring a light switch.

Good Books?
Wouldn't waste my money search with google.


Nath wrote:
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Re: Need an opinion on home automation and speech recognition

IBM ported Via Voice to Linux in 2000 but I think they withdrew it a year or
so after that. There are other ASR packages available. Google on "linux
speech recognition".

Check out Neil Cherry's site for Linux and Home Automation.

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Re: Need an opinion on home automation and speech recognition

Thanks a lot for your advice. Can't wait to look into it!

Re: Need an opinion on home automation and speech recognition

I've had HAL for several years.  The voice command/recognition is
certainly a selling point, but for me once the newness wore off, I'd
rather just have a robust, non-PC based automation system.  See the
other thread I started here:
Keep in mind that once you buy the software, you still have to consider
the interface/hardware requirements.  You can go one of three ways:
1.  Computer mic and speakers only (cheap, and very inconvenient)
2.  Add telephone interface (like HAL).  Again, pretty cheap and it
adds some functionality, but just try to dial in from work and give
commands via speakerphone or noisy can't filter
background noise very well.
3.  Wire your entire house with an intercom-type system and high-end
microphones (again needed due to lack of background noise filtering).
You will also need a mixer at the center of the system, or you will
have to do a push-to-talk setup (not really convenient).

When you think about it, once programmed, about 90% of the functions on
your automation setup will run on timers or sensors (that's why you got
an automation system, remember?).  You won't be doing much
direct-command stuff except for when you want to run macros and such.
For this, I have an IR interface box
( which reads IR codes from my
Pronto remote and sends them to HAL - I can run all of the macros I
need either via the remote, cordless phone, or tabletop module by the

I'd like to hear other thoughts as well - especially those which
involve hacking devices like routers, network audio devices
(Audiotron), and wireless access points which already have web/SNMP
interfaces and adding functionality.  This is where I think the gap
will be bridged and we will have a nice, clean black box in the
basement which doesn't drain power and computer resources like a
PC-based software.


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