“House, turn on the light”: voice control for home devices
Those who have watched Iron Man will remember how Mr. Stark communicates with his electronic butler Jarvis. Yes, a millionaire and a philanthropist has a smart home: according to one master's word, it can say what the weather outside is, read the latest news, turn on the air conditioner or a coffee machine.
However, voice control is not a fantasy, but a reality using modern systems of Smart House. The development of such systems is carried out in particular by Microsoft. And soon you will not need to own a million fortune to acquire a virtual butler.
Why is it convenient?
The first remote control for home appliances (TV) was created back in the 50's, and it was wired. Today, manufacturers are ready to equip with a remote control anything you want: from home theaters to chandeliers, and for those devices where the console is inconvenient, they can add a delayed start option. As a result, an average person has from two to six different consoles at home, and it is necessary to keep in mind several control algorithms for different devices.
Voice control is a single ‘entry point’: you don’t need a number of remote controls, it is enough to say “Okay, House, turn on the first channel”. The possibilities of such function are huge: for example, those preferring to sleep in the dark can integrate curtains into a smart house, and they will open as soon as you wake up and give the command. You can also give commands to climate control, kitchen appliances and even a robotic vacuum cleaner. If you have a home robot, you can learn the latest news, weather and read messages in social networks. In the west, a popular smart house includes air conditioning and security systems management.
How does it work?
In general, the work of a smart house with voice control is built like this: all devices are combined according to their functions (for example, lighting, air conditioning, curtains) and rooms (kitchen, room, bedroom). A single ‘control panel’ is created for them using a software or application. Such applications are already available; for example: Insteon+ for iPhone.
Then, you should add the voice recognition service to the hub. You can use the Siri voice assistant, together with a special ‘gateway’: the HomeKit program. After that, the house will be able to perform commands like “turn on the light in the kitchen” or “open the curtains in the bedroom”, given by voice.
To use a smartphone to control the house is a good idea, but it has weaknesses. After all, the gadget can be discharged, lost or even left in the hands of robbers. In addition, you will always have to carry it with you when going from one room to another.
Therefore, there are concepts for build-in control systems. For instance, a common hub for devices can be created on the basis of Arduino. A voice control can be provided with the help of a home PC and several sensitive microphones located in different rooms.