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Control4 announces Amazon Echo integration

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Is there any new function in 2.9 related to Alexa integration or is the Alexa skill the sum of the new support?

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Is there any new function in 2.9 related to Alexa integration or is the Alexa skill the sum of the new support?

There is more that can be done but requires a dealer

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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8 minutes ago, jfh said:

Is there any new function in 2.9 related to Alexa integration or is the Alexa skill the sum of the new support?

Good question.  They probably believe that by providing the use of Alexa to control your lights, thermostat, scenes, etc..they are integrating Alex into Control4.  Many companies have done this - classic example of using technology in your echo-system versus integrating the echo-system to further its use. (this is the link that Steve Jobs got and many do not - good teaching example for PhD students in computer engineering and science - Thanks Martin for the lesson tomorrow!)

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18 minutes ago, msgreenf said:

There is more that can be done but requires a dealer

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Can you summarize what requires 2.9?

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so with the sonos integration coming soon to c4, and alexa being integrated with sonos...will we be able to pump sonos thru an audio matrix in the near future without having to run a 3.5 to the matrix?

If not than i'll fish a line upstairs.

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Can you summarize what requires 2.9?

It doesn't require 2.9. It requires a dealer to setup. Don't really fully understand it. That's for tomorrow

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3 minutes ago, msgreenf said:

It doesn't require 2.9. It requires a dealer to setup. Don't really fully understand it. That's for tomorrow

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It requires a dealer (e.g. Compiser Pro) to install a driver or just Composer HE?

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Inital configuration doesnt require a dealer at all. Just go to the amazon echo site, add the control4 connection, and configure what you want accessable from your my.control4.com account. Things available natively include scenes, lights, fans, volume, and thermostats. If you get a little more creative you can easily add programming events. I.e. call a scene "Party Mode" and have it turn on music and set the lights when invoked.

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4 minutes ago, jfh said:

It requires a dealer (e.g. Compiser Pro) to install a driver or just Composer HE?

does not require a dealer. only requirement is 2.8.2 or higher.

in a nutshell, install control4 skill in your echo app or through web page, enter your mycontrol4 credentials to link your accounts. then discover devices. up and going in under 10 min.

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2 hours ago, Cyknight said:

Actively - likely not. The 'problem' will be Amazon itself.

works. verified on echo. now to order up some dots :)

wow that was easy.

hardest part is getting the alexa devices since amazon will not ship them to Canada, ways around that though ;)

 

 

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13 minutes ago, vstar said:

does not require a dealer. only requirement is 2.8.2 or higher.

in a nutshell, install control4 skill in your echo app or through web page, enter your mycontrol4 credentials to link your accounts. then discover devices. up and going in under 10 min.

Got all that.

 

But there seems to be a difference of opinion on whether 2.9 adds any additional Alexa function.  If there isn't, then C4 has a nice start, but doesn't seem to do anything Ari's driver can't do (and that driver doesn't require the 4Sight subscription)

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1 hour ago, vstar said:

works. verified on echo. now to order up some dots :)

wow that was easy.

hardest part is getting the alexa devices since amazon will not ship them to Canada, ways around that though ;)

 

 

I'd like to know what you come up with too.  I'll share my success if I get there first.  I have a bro in Cali that could ship it to me but that takes a little longer.

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4 hours ago, chesterwilson said:

I'm curious as to why they didn't integrate Prime music into the OS.  Would seem like a natural fit for Alexa to play seamlessly.

It says for music you need your dealer. So if I want Amazon prime music in different rooms how involved is that for a dealer?  Like play 80s music in kitchen and living room, or play top 40 pop in kitchen, or next song, or mute?

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I wonder if there is going to be a new Alexa agent in Composer.  This might explain the cryptic comment about needing a dealer for entertainment options.

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looks like there is a new "Voice Scene" driver in composer...you'd need a dealer to add that driver into your project I guess.  It is more or less a copy of the Epic Systems driver, in that it allows you to define custom "scene names" (triggers), and then for each, you get an ON and OFF programming event (no UP, DOWN, and SET events like ours).

However as someone else already figured out, I guess you could get around this by creating advanced lighting scenes (presumably with no light loads added), and then program off of the Scene "Is Invoked" event...although not as elegant.

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Does the Voice Scene driver require 2.9 or can it be installed in 2.8.2?   I was going to make some dummy AL scenes, but this does seem a bit cleaner for triggers that don't need anything more than ON or OFF.

I really like UP/DOWN/SET, so looks like I'll use both approaches for a while.

2 minutes ago, chopedogg88 said:

looks like there is a new "Voice Scene" driver in composer...you'd need a dealer to add that driver into your project I guess.  It is more or less a copy of the Epic Systems driver, in that it allows you to define custom "scene names" (triggers), and then for each, you get an ON and OFF programming event (no UP, DOWN, and SET events like ours).

However as someone else already figured out, I guess you could get around this by creating advanced lighting scenes (presumably with no light loads added), and then program off of the Scene "Is Invoked" event...although not as elegant.

 

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the Voice Scene driver is in the online database...haven't tested but I'd assume it works okay with 2.8.2.  It allows you to rename scenes, but other than that, it appears to have less functionality.

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A couple other shortfalls that come to mind on the way they've implemented the integration-

1) As I understand, it currently doesn't work outside of the USA

2) Requires annual 4sight license @ $100/year

3) As far as I can tell, all lights/scenes/voice scenes for the project are grouped together as one, so you can’t have any duplicate names.  Our driver lets you setup multiple Echos/Dots under different Amazon accounts, in which case you can have a trigger called “TV” in the bedroom Echo, and another trigger called “TV” in the living room Echo, rather than having to build 2 separate (and more verbose) scenes, for example “living room TV” and “bedroom TV”.

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17 minutes ago, chopedogg88 said:

3) As far as I can tell, all lights/scenes/voice scenes for the project are grouped together as one, so you can’t have any duplicate names.  Our driver lets you setup multiple Echos/Dots under different Amazon accounts, in which case you can have a trigger called “TV” in the bedroom Echo, and another trigger called “TV” in the living room Echo, rather than having to build 2 separate (and more verbose) scenes, for example “living room TV” and “bedroom TV”.

 

 

And this may why both will co-exist for me.  I am going to set up a separate Amazon account for upstairs and downstairs (and maybe some other rooms) to do just that.  I've found Alexa gets confused more often if I have devices with only slight differences in the names, so having multiple Amazon accounts each being able to recognize TV but work against different devices may be a better solution for a while.

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1 hour ago, chopedogg88 said:

1) As I understand, it currently doesn't work outside of the USA

 

2) Requires annual 4sight license @ $100/year

 

3) As far as I can tell, all lights/scenes/voice scenes for the project are grouped together as one, so you can’t have any duplicate names.  Our driver lets you setup multiple Echos/Dots under different Amazon accounts, in which case you can have a trigger called “TV” in the bedroom Echo, and another trigger called “TV” in the living room Echo, rather than having to build 2 separate (and more verbose) scenes, for example “living room TV” and “bedroom TV”.

While I'm saddened always to see a developers' efforts go down the drain, I can't help but feel you're largely grasping at straws here.

 

1) 'Course not - it's not SUPPOSED to really work outside of the US. Until Echo is outside the US. A few posts above you it was already reported that all the usual tricks work.

2) Oh boohoo.

3) And at the same time this allows you to turn off the bedroom TV from the living easily. It's got some validity to it - assuming it's correct.

 

Understand that I truly mean it - it's sad that you've poured in all this effort only to see it turn to dust. I really wish there was some way this sort of thing could get communicated (but of course, if they had, they'd have leaked the whole process).

 

But C4 most likely has been working on this at least as long as you - and, with all due respect, with a lot more resources.

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3 hours ago, adam333 said:

so with the sonos integration coming soon to c4, and alexa being integrated with sonos...will we be able to pump sonos thru an audio matrix in the near future without having to run a 3.5 to the matrix?

If not than i'll fish a line upstairs.

Sonos integration has been around for a long time - I would be VERY surprised if we start seeing controllers with integrated Sonos built in indeed! (as in would likely fall over dead). From what I've seen about the Sonos API - I'm still more concerned that we'd lose functions than expecting MORE features

HOW you connect a Sonos isn't going to change - but why you'd have a 3.5mm connection going to a matrix switch is beyond me....considering Sonos and Matrix both use standard RCA connectors

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16 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

 

HOW you connect a Sonos isn't going to change - but why you'd have a 3.5mm connection going to a matrix switch is beyond me....considering Sonos and Matrix both use standard RCA connectors

 

The 3.5mm was to connect the Echo Dot to the matrix.  I think he was saying since Sonos and Echo were now supported by C4, maybe you could have the Dot audio some how "passed" through the Sonos, which is presumably already connected to the matrix.

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5 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

While I'm saddened always to see a developers' efforts go down the drain, I can't help but feel you're largely grasping at straws here.

 

1) 'Course not - it's not SUPPOSED to really work outside of the US. Until Echo is outside the US.

2) Oh boohoo.

3) And at the same time this allows you to turn off the bedroom TV from the living easily. It's got some validity to it - assuming it's correct.

 

Understand that I truly mean it - it's sad that you've poured in all this effort only to see it turn to dust. I really wish there was some way this sort of thing could get communicated (but of course, if they had, they'd have leaked the whole process).

 

But C4 most likely has been working on this at least as long as you - and, with all due respect, with a lot more resources.

I'm just simply pointing out a few differences...not really grasping at straws, if those things happen to be important to you, then they are important to you.  But I see how you could perceive it that way.

1) Right, but ours does...now.

2) I know many customers that have no interest in paying for 4sight, while most other smart home providers give remote access/cloud capabilities for free.  So for those people, it can become a financial decision.  Only 20% of our customers use it.

3) Yes, and our driver does that too...but at least you have the option of separating them out if you want to with ours.  Both options have validity.


I am not sad at all...in fact I've known this was coming since this past winter when Control4 reached out to us in the hopes of purchasing our source code "to save themselves a couple days of development work" (for pennies I might add...).  I don't think that our effort was lost or turned to dust...it has helped to pave the way for Alexa voice control with Control4, has enhanced 1000's of people's lives over the past year, and has been very financially rewarding...far from dust...in my humble opinion :)

Regarding resources, yes they may have expended more in terms of quantity...but perhaps not quality? (our driver was created by an Ivy League grad with 20 years in the software industry, teamed up with another very successful entrepreneur worth a lot of $$) ..and in the end, it took them a long time to essentially just copy our driver's functionality to a great degree, with some new functionality, and some lost functionality.  Hopefully over time they will make improvements that will blow our minds...but at this point we are all pretty limited by what Amazon will allow.

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1 minute ago, jfh said:

 

The 3.5mm was to connect the Echo Dot to the matrix.  I think he was saying since Sonos and Echo were now supported by C4, maybe you could have the Dot audio some how "passed" through the Sonos, which is presumably already connected to the matrix.

I'm...trying to read it like that - but I'll have to take your word for it ^_^

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