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How To - Android based device Voice control of CQC
Why voice control of our home automation systems? Well for one it's just really cool and more importantly it is a natural.

Speech is an efficient form of communication, it is the most natural (well for most of us) and it is the one we use the most to communicate with others. Up until quite recently the conundrum we have faced is how to build a voice interface that was practical, functional and affordable. By practical I mean that the voice interface is with us all of the time; what's the point of having voice control of your home / office if you're not near a microphone?

Enter the smart phone, a device that many of us now carry around in our pockets or on our hips all of the time. By functional I mean having the capability to design a voice control interface that would allow for natural speech patterns to trigger the desired event. For example, "Turn on the alarm, I'm leaving", "I'm leaving, turn on the alarm" (or any of many variations) instead of "set away alarm", "arm away alarm" (though those could also be allowed for) There are some days I can barely remember what I had for breakfast let alone the words I need to say to turn the alarm off before the police show up. Also I am certain that my wife and children would not respond well & not use voice control if they had to memorize a bunch of goofy unnatural sounding commands.

The other tipping point to making voice control "off the shelf" was the availability of software, both in the smart phone operating system as well as 3rd party software that allowed for the creation of easy to use voice control frameworks that could be interfaced with our home automation systems. This how to is specifically targeted at Android based smart devices as this is what we have in our home. To accomplish the voice control interface we will be using an automation software tool on Android called Tasker and a 3rd party plugin for Tasker called AutoVoice. This software coupled with recent additions made by Dean to CQC make it possible to build a robust voice control system between Android devices and CQC.

As an aside, while the focus of this how to is on Android from the voice input perspective the CQC side of what will be discussed is equally applicable for any platform capable of sending an HTTP Get to CQC.

In this how to I will go through how to:

  1. Set up your Android device to send commands to CQC
  2. Set up CQC to receive commands from your Android device

I have started a Android Voice Control discussion thread for this topic here I'll post a new message in the discussion thread and link back to updates in this thread as I make them. We'll see how it works.

Setting up the Android Device - What you need

  1. Tasker (If you have multiple devices you want the play store version!)
  2. AutoVoice & Paid AutoVoice Key
There's a bit more to make things easier but this is a start
Tasker Basics
AutoVoice Basics
Basic interface - CQC Side
Basic Interface - Tasker & AutoVoice
Advanced Interface CQC Side #1
Advanced Interface CQC Side #2
Advanced Interface CQC Side #3
Advanced Interface Tasker & Autovoice #1

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