Voice Recognition?

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greyt
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Voice Recognition?

Postby greyt » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:59 am

Is anyone successfully using voice recognition via Homeseer? Would be interested in hearing experiences and recommendations on hardware - especially for mics in multiple rooms. I assume a basic problem is a limitation on not being able to train for multiple users?

Thanks,

Graham

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Postby DavidL » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:30 am

Graham,
Success is a factor of many things with VR. The most critical and hardest to accomplish in every day house is mike placement. Of those that insist on using VR, they use multiple mikes that get patched through a mixer. Pkoslow (HS and Cinemar customer) I believe uses this approach.

There are so many obstacles to getting VR to work a high percentage of time, I doubt many actually use it beyond demo. It is neat, but not practical in everyday. ViaVoice is IBMs, longest project they have ever been involved with. It is a substantial technical problem. I don't think I would recommend it for a pro to advocate as it is a comeback waiting in the wings.

Touchscreens are a much better and reliable alternative.

The exceptions here are folks that have disabilities. Mike positioning and single user software voice training are the keys here.

HAL seems to use a "folder" concept for categorization of VR commands. This lends itself to more accuracy, but requireing knowledge of the command nesting. Homeseer uses a "flat folder" structure which allows for more flexibility, but less recognition rate. All commands are available at any time but increasee the size of the current word set to identify. I believe this difference is why HAL supporters believe their VR to be superiour. HAL also uses L&H VR technology which core software I have used and like. I haven't tried HAL bundling of L&H so don't have any comment on the final product.

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Postby AutomatedOutlet » Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:43 am

HAL seems to use a "folder" concept for categorization of VR commands. This lends itself to more accuracy, but requireing knowledge of the command nesting. Homeseer uses a "flat folder" structure which allows for more flexibility, but less recognition rate. All commands are available at any time but increasee the size of the current word set to identify.

Excellent description of this.

Yeah, I have played with VR a little and choose not to use it. It can be tough to train the wife and kids to use it correctly. If you do choose to do it, quality of mics is very important (the crown PZM mics seem to work best from what I have seen). Also, if you are using more than 2 mics, a good mixer is important (again, Crown makes good mixers at a resonable price).
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Postby greyt » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:35 pm

Thanks for the feedback - you have both confirmed my thoughts!

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Postby pkoslow » Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:02 pm

Graham,

I've been working with and improving VR using multiple mics & HomeSeer for around 8yrs. I'm on my 3rd configuration now and feel that it's been developed as far as current technology will allow.

If I'm home alone, accuracy is very good, greater than 95%... when my girlfriend is home, it probably drops to 85% but is still very useful. To help set your expectations, with the right equipment and careful planning & tuning VR can be very usable with only a couple people in the house. If you have a family of 4-5 in the house, it will become unusable when everyone is home.

For a breif description, I've got 8 Crown mics installed throughout the house connected to a Genter AP-800 mixer which is then tied to HomeSeer using an Applied Digital Ocelot Secu16 and via RS232.

With this setup we can give VR commands from any room in the house and HS knows where we are speaking from (say "lights on" in the kitchen, and the kitchen lights will come on). The AP800 can also eliminate the sound from your whole-house audio, TV, etc. as well as the announcements from HomeSeers text-to-speech using DSP (Digital signal processing). This is important for reliable VR as it keeps sound from your TV or stereo from interfering.

I've got tons of info about my setup on the HS message board and also some info on my web page linked in my signature below. There are a number of others on the HS message board that are taking my lead and starting to use the Genter gear for VR.

Do a search at HS for "VR, Gentner, AP800, Crown" and maybe enter in my username "pkoslow" as the author.

Here are a few links to get you started:

http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=109542

http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=104151

http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=104567

http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=81391


Having stated the above, as pleased as I am with the way VR works in my setup, it's not something I'm planning to offer through the business.

Cheers,
Paul
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Postby greyt » Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:00 pm

Paul,

Many thanks for the detailed response - looks very interesting. I was wondering why more people in the house caused problems - but eventually realised (from following your links) that the system does not know who's voice to listen to. I had assumed that people were using Mics fitted on walls with a button to operate them - but it makes sense now that the system is listening all the time.

I can get the Crown Mics in the UK, but don't think the Gentner mixer is available - but there must be a comparible product - may have another project to play with in the future :lol:

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Postby pkoslow » Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:53 pm

Graham,

Yes, the AP800 was recently discontinued. They originally retailed for $5000us each, but can be found now on Ebay for $200-$500.

If you'd like to do a push-to-talk you could rig this too using the AP800 and it's digital I/O cenected to the switches.

Genter was acquired by ClearOne... if you want to have a look, you can find all the manuals on their website: www.clearone.com

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Paul
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Postby greyt » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:33 pm

Paul,

Don't know what I have let myself in for, but have just got a Gentner AP800 for $227 from Ebay, was too good a deal to turn down!

My HTPC has two Delta 410LT cards in, I think I saw a post from you that you had a problem with Deltas and the MIC in, can you clarify what the problem is?

Thanks,

Graham

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Postby pkoslow » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:42 pm

Hi Graham,

My issue wasn't necessarily a problem between the Delta 410 and the Gentner AP800, it was a problem with HomeSeer2's VR and the Delta 410.

For some reason, HS2 simply would not do VR with the Delta 410? I got around it by installing an older SoundBlaster Live card and use it for VR (the output of the AP800 goes into the SB card instead of the 410).

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions once you get going... several others on the HS message board doing this now too, so it may be a better place to post?

Cheers,
Paul
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