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Thread: Smart Home Megathread

  1. #41
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Hey Brien!


  2. #42
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    it's amazing. maybe it will terrify my kids enough that they'll stop asking alexa for farts

  3. #43
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    I ordered a Nest that should arrive tomorrow. Anybody have tips on use?

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  5. #45
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    creepy. I don't have any cameras but that might be a thing to add eventually. I debate if it's really necessary in my "safe" little city.

    So far the Nest is learning, this takes time. At the moment it's pretty boring but I suppose it will be more interesting in the future.

  6. #46
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    Recommendations on fancy boxes my wife can yell commands at to do things? That was her request for Christmas. Amazon, Google, wait for Apple? My IT guy at work said just use Siri since we already have iphones.

    I'm not convinced I want it listening to me all the time.

  7. #47
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    I can't really recommend the Amazon Echo. We don't have any smart home things that we use it with, but what we do use it for doesn't work great. The Echo was fine at first but it seems to be behaving more erratically. Half the time I have to repeat myself several times to get what I want, and those are for things that it can actually do. It's also been randomly chipping in to whatever conversion we're having with a "I don't have any information on that" even though we haven't said "Alexa" at any point. The app you can get for you phone tracks all the requests made (so you can tell if your kids are cheating on their math while you're out of the room), but it has no record of these random responses.

  8. #48
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    We have an Echo and an Echo Dot and haven't had those problems, but anytime i relocate it i redo the voice training. Even if I don't move it i try to add to the voice training at least every few months. I think the more you do it, the better she gets at listening correctly. I also train from where i would usual "call" her. for example, she's in the kitchen, but since i usually call her from the living room, i sit on the living room couch to train, then i stand in the kitchen and train. sometimes i'll head down the hallway and train her - sometimes late at night when i realize i left some lights on i'll call her from down the main hallway and ask her to turn the lights off.

    We've been pretty happy with Alexa - we use her for controlling most of the lights in the house and on the property, we also use her as our jukebox and as an entry point to a few IFTTT triggers, alarms, reminders, etc. Oh yeah, we also make phone calls through Alexa from time to time, which can be quite handy. i just started trying to use her for some meal planning stuff - asking her for recipes and such. We also use her from time to time to ask "who is bla bla bla" or "what is bla bla bla" types of questions, which she's ok at answering, but the natural language search stuff is not great yet. I've heard that the Google Home device is much better at the natural language search, but not as good with home automation integration. I think the real value in either device is in how much you customize it to meet your specific needs. out of the box, they all do basically the same relatively simple things. Once you start connecting up your home automation devices and writing up and connecting IFTTT triggers and such, they really start to increase in value. Of course, that takes more effort and a bit of technical know-how. I will say that BOTH the Alexa devices and the Google Home devices are far superior to Siri in terms of understanding what we are asking and actually providing useful functional value, so I wouldn't hold my breath that Apple Home is somehow going to be better.

  9. #49
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brien View Post
    We've been pretty happy with Alexa
    "Also, we consistently refer to Alexa as her rather than it because it makes her more comfortable, even though it creeps out all our human friends."

  10. #50
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    We have Google Home and use it primarily as a jukebox, kitchen timers, running Netflix and some other apps on our TV, and sometimes the weather. My kids think it's the greatest thing ever and are constantly asking it how to say things in other languages, answers to odd questions, and to play Meghan Trainor shit all the time.

    I'd like to do more home automation stuff with it, but I'm not being proactive. As bulbs go out, I intend to replace them with smart bulbs, but haven't done any of that yet. I have a programmable thermostat that works great, but isn't "Smart", but I don't think I can justify getting a Nest or something since I rarely ever touch the thing other than to switch from AC to heat.

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