This is the post which most geeks are looking forward to. How did I create S.A.R.A.H, the android based voice control for home automation?
Similar to my post on Siri based voice control, I’ve never built anything myself. I just find things and put them together. Before we start, let’s look at the video which inspired me to do so.
Coincidently, this guy also has a Z-Wave based home automation with Vera, which makes it possible for me to achieve similar capabilities quickly with an Android tablet. He uses his phone to control Netflix, XBMC while I use my tablet to talk to SQ Blaster Plus to control my Starhub cable, DVD player etc.
What you need
So this is what you need to have to achieve my demo:
- Vera 2/3 (or Vera Lite)
- Android Phone/Tablet
- Tasker App
- AutoVoice App
- AuthomationHD App
- SQ Blaster Plus (and your iOS device running SQ Remote HD)
Create a button on home screen
A icon will be created in the home screen. After tapping on the icon, you will see the usual Google Voice Assistant waiting for you to say something. For now don’t say anything, let’s create the command first.
Voice control light
Now go back to the home screen and tap on the icon you created in the home screen earlier and say “Dining”. The magic should happen. With this profile, when I say “Dining on”, the “Dining” command is recognise and the lights toggle on and when I say “Dining off”, the lights toggle off. This why S.A.R.A.H seems to be intelligent but the setup is done to assume that the user is not dumb enough to say “Dining on” when the light is already on. With multiple profiles setup, you will be able to say multiple commands within the same sentence. You can even say ” Blah blah dining blah blah kitchen” and both lights will toggle. Now you see the trick? 🙂
Voice control AV equipment
Now go back to the home screen and tap on the icon you created in the home screen earlier and say “On TV”. You TV should turn on. 🙂
Voice control Sonos
For Sonos and Vera owner, you can actually install a plugin for Sonos in vera where eventually you can setup a scene in Vera to make Sonos play, stop or perform a text to speech command. To do so, you can refer to the guides below:
As the Sonos plugin is constantly being updated, you may encounter some problems along the way. However I think the play and stop command should be rather stable. Again, I’ll not be re-inventing the wheel to explain how to setup the plugin since the resources are available.
Once you had setup a scene that play Sonos, you can create a Tasker profile similar to the steps to voice control a light. The only difference is instead of sending intent for toggling a light (i.e “authomation://device/14567/36/toggle”) you send an intent for activating a scene (i.e “authomation://scene/3123456/33”).
Sorry for the long textual guide. I could have posted a video on how to setup everything in a video but the links I’ve posted in this article already had video tutorials. I believe if you are technically inclined, this article would be able to give you a clue on how to put things together. Once you master Tasker, which is not difficult, the sky is the limit. However, I welcome any queries and may post more detailed guide if required. Enjoy!