Voice Control for the Home

New product enables Control4 automation system to be operated via voice commands.

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TVs are doing it; so are iPhones. So why shouldn’t systems that manage the electronics of your home be able to be controlled by voice commands as well? That’s the thinking behind a new technology demonstrated this week at the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. The VoicePod from HouseLogix is designed to speech-enable any home, and at Expo was integrated with a Control4 automation system so that a user’s vocal commands like “lights on” turned on a lamp and “unlock door” unlocked an electronic door lock. Incorporating both speech recognition and speech output in a single wireless device, VoicePod is positioned as an alternative to traditional keypads, remotes and touchpanels, according to HouseLogix president and founder Theodore Rosenberger.

The VoicePod connects with wireless Zigbee technology, so all it needs is power to communicate with other Zigbee products, like the Control4 system. Users simply speak a wake-up phrase, such as “Hello VoicePod” and the unit comes to life. In addition to issuing commands, users can ask questions such as “what is the house status” and receive spoken responses.

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VoicePod’s speaker-independent voice recognition requires no training. VoicePod’s vocabularies cover AV, security, lighting control, temperature control and more. VoicePod will ship in early 2013 and include full Control4 integration. It is expected to retail for $600.

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