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AMX

CineTouch Adds Voice to AMX Control Systems
Users can adjust the thermostats, select music and zones, and operate other home automation features by voice with "Ask Cindy" from CineTouch.
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May 15, 2012 by Julie Jacobson

CineTouch, which creates software to make AMX systems easier to program and operate, has added a new feature set to the home automation platform: voice control.

The company just released Ask Cindy, which allows users to adjust the thermostats, select music and zones, launch scenes and perform other integration feats with just a few words.

Simply press the “Ask Cindy” button on your AMX-enabled iOS or Android device, and speak your commands.

“Cindy can reply and act on command, challenge for passcodes, announce activities, respond to changes in the environment, and do it all with a friendly banter,” says CineTouch CEO Russ Maynard.

Out of the box, Cindy can recognize and respond to more than 1,000 unique phrases, and dealers can add custom phrases and actions on the fly, even via the Internet.

Maynard explains: CineTouch is a dynamic relational database system that forms an intelligent action engine. This architecture makes CineTouch installation a configuration-only task for any system, and that flexibility extends to the new voice recognition functions.

No external PC or hardware is required for CineTouch to understand and intelligently act on speech-to-text and text-to-speech functions provided by a growing number of third party systems. These recognition systems simply deliver speech as text; CineTouch parses the text and derives meaning though processing in its integral database.

Cindy will refuse commands if the user doesn’t have permission for certain activities, and will ask for clarification or confirmation if a request is ambiguous or has been marked as particularly important, like turning on the security system.

Ask Cindy is CineTouch’s second voice-control solution for AMX, based on speech recognition technology from Touch Panel Control Ltd. The company also has employed Voice Viper from Control Shark.

The following is a sample conversation with Cindy:
Play Music.
Selecting DJ in the Living Room.

Volume up.
[volume rises]

Next Source.
Selecting DirecTV in Living Room.

Send source to Office.
Sending source to Office now.

Next favorite channel, Cindy.
Folk Rock, Channel 813.

Show Lighting.
Here are your lights in your current room. [lights and status appear on panel]

Show HVAC
This is the thermostat for your area. [shows details]

Show all thermostats.
Touch one on the list to see all details and control the thermostat.

I’m leaving now.
Shall I turn off all rooms and set the lights and heat to your away profile?

Yes.
Turning off all rooms and entering AWAY mode. Hurry back.

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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