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Original thread:
Post 45 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 00:24
Long Time Member
August 2011
On November 30, 2018 at 01:50, Dean Roddey said...
The Echo cannot take over for a number of reasons.

1. No guest will now what commands to use

The Alexa voice service can guide you if you ask it.

2. You can't browse anything with voice control. Alexa, read me my 5000 sounds and let me pick one.

You can browse through the Alexa app.

3. You can't even really get good information beyond the trivial because takes so long to speak it that you'll have forgotten half of it.

What is "good information?" You can get far more information from an Echo than any other control system out there.

4. It can't tell you the state of the house because it'll take too long

It can tell you some things, everything else you can see in the Alexa app.

5. It can't talk to any serial devices, and presumably no USB devices, right?

What decent product in this category needs serial comms anymore?

6. It's not extensible or customizable unless you use a custom skill, and immediately you run into the problem that you now have to use specialized syntax, Alexa, tell Bubba to do this or that. Most people won't know when to which.

You can create custom routines based on custom commands you want to speak, on schedules, based on a device event, etc. all through the Alexa app. It's gotten so good recently that when I add a new Alexa-supported device to my network it is instantly recognized by Alexa services and ready to control.

7. It can't do anything securely. Will you ask everyone to leave while you speak your password?

A password for what? They do have voice codes for purchases. It even has voice profiles that recognize your voice to personalize preferences.

8. It cannot react to anything, it's purely control, AFAIK. It can't even run scheduled activities, can it?

Yep, it can. Simple to set up in the Alexa app. Check it out.

Even a mildly adventurous DIYer will probably quickly move beyond those limitations. And the demonstrable benefits beyond that of even a fairly limited real, local system are enormous.

I worked primarily in the residential integration industry for 14 years until recently, and I disagree. I have Crestron and Control4 hardware collecting dust in my home now. It's almost hilarious how good these "DIY" products have become, and how quickly they continue to add features and pull further away from the old stalwart players of the industry. The FAANG companies simply have too much engineering talent, infrastructure, and capital to compete against. And they're motivated to win.

And of course you can always play the FUD game, and with justification. It won't work when your internet connection is down. So at the time you might most want to get things done quickly, it may not be available to you. And of course the issue of do you want these companies to own your lives?

These days if your internet connection is down it doesn't really matter if your control system is local or not. What good is a local control system to control cable/streaming media services (95% of what people do in their home) if there's no cable/internet connectivity? Regardless, these DIY system still function fine on their own--services like Alexa just make them even more approachable to the average consumer.

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