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New Josh.ai Hardware Announced Today


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Did anyone else watch the Josh keynote? I thought it was very well done. Two new products: the Nano (near flush mount mic a little bigger than the size of a quarter) and the Core (a rack mountable processor).  I really like what they’re doing - privacy, integrated design. Real contrast to the new echo dots that only seem to get bigger each generation. Plus we’re getting frustrated with Alexa in our house - performance has really gone down hill over the past month for some reason (clearly on the server side). So all in all Josh is becoming a more enticing option overall - assuming they maintain a deep integration with C4. 

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2 hours ago, South Africa C4 user said:

Boom... seriously though, sounds great!

Agreed.  Got some more info listening to the latest episode of Residential Tech Talks podcast with Josh.ai founder Alex as a guest. He confirms Nano runs POE (as you would expect/hope), but also has full RGB LEDs for feedback (listening/processing cues), and a programmable capacitive touch button too. Pretty slick. 

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5 minutes ago, Rob21 said:

Does anyone how well Josh integrates with C4? Is it much better than just using voice control through Alexa or google assistant (besides the privacy aspect)?

I've not got any first hand experience, but it did seem like you could string a bunch of commands together, which it would then parse out and process. Google and Alexa don't do that well (in my experience). I did watch a video where he did this extensively.

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1 hour ago, Rob21 said:

Does anyone how well Josh integrates with C4? Is it much better than just using voice control through Alexa or google assistant (besides the privacy aspect)?

Sadly I don’t have personal experience either but I believe @chopedogg88 does and wonder if he may weigh in on how the level of C4 integration compares between Alexa/Google v Josh?

@ILoveC4 - parsing complex commands does seem to be a big highlight. It also seems to have some contextual awareness of the room assets (ie “turn on the lights” without specifying which lights) which is nice. 

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1 hour ago, Dueport said:

Sadly I don’t have personal experience either but I believe @chopedogg88 does and wonder if he may weigh in on how the level of C4 integration compares between Alexa/Google v Josh?

@ILoveC4 - parsing complex commands does seem to be a big highlight. It also seems to have some contextual awareness of the room assets (ie “turn on the lights” without specifying which lights) which is nice. 

If someone could confirm the "contextual awareness of the room assets" with control4 that would be great. Also, I was wondering if it would be able to understand different phrasing of commands better than Alexa and google currently do with control4. For example, I have to say "Turn on the lights in the kitchen" for the command to be understood but it will not understand "turn on the kitchen lights".

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Just got 3 Micros physically installed today.  Configuration and programming on Monday.  Will be interesting to see how well it works.  Have friends that showed me their Alexa integration and was quite unimpressed.  If all goes well intend to put in 4 Nano's and 2 Core's when they come out at end of Q1 2021

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20 minutes ago, gregheard said:

Just got 3 Micros physically installed today.  Configuration and programming on Monday.  Will be interesting to see how well it works.  Have friends that showed me their Alexa integration and was quite unimpressed.  If all goes well intend to put in 4 Nano's and 2 Core's when they come out at end of Q1 2021

Awesome!  Please keep us posted on your experience with the Micros and anything more you add down the road.  Really interested in hearing how it goes.  Also, for those reading the thread, I heard on the HomeTech.fm Podcast that the Nano also includes a temp sensor which is nice too and I hadn’t heard of that elsewhere.

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On 11/14/2020 at 7:25 PM, Dueport said:

Awesome!  Please keep us posted on your experience with the Micros and anything more you add down the road.  Really interested in hearing how it goes.  Also, for those reading the thread, I heard on the HomeTech.fm Podcast that the Nano also includes a temp sensor which is nice too and I hadn’t heard of that elsewhere.

So far have them installed in 3 locations and they work great.  The biggest benefits so far have been:

  • Compound commands - rattling off shades closing/opening + Lights to a random brightness + unlocking the back door as an example. 
  • Natural language - You don't have to be overly exact with the commands.  You also don't have to call out all lights.  I have 4 different kitchen light loads and can just say Ok Josh turn the kitchen lights to 50% and it will turn them all one versus having to call out each light load separately like some other systems or create a scene
  • Scene creation is super powerful and easy - You can type the commands into your phone, say them via speech to text or use the online portal.  A morning coffee scene to raise the shades in 4 rooms on 1st floor set lights to a specific brightness in 3 different zones and turn on the kitchen TV to specific source and channel all can be done in less than a minute and tested.  Then you can create a custom scene name and custom response unique to your liking.

They just recently partnered with Control4 on the music side but as of now just for the deep integration to the Pandora Music service.  I have a basic account with Pandora so later this week the integrator will finish that.  I use Tidal for all my current keypads and music scenes for guest rooms/bathrooms so those will stay same.  Once Tidal, Spotify, etc. get their C4 integration more with Josh I'll use Tidal with it exclusively.    

There are some items it doesn't integrate with as of yet here at home (i.e. Rachio irrigation system, Moen FloMeter, etc.).  Upgrading in future to AVPro Edge matrix and they have native integration with Josh and C4.  Unsure about pool controls (Pentair, Hayward).  Unfortunately no garage controls other than with the Garageio and Lutron so no solution for MyQ in this case which is a bummer.

The interface IMHO is streamlined and it's nice to have a main dashboard showing devices that are on and quick actions options you can take to turn them on or off.  The scenes are also available to be pinned on the Dashboard as well.  OS3.0 is cool but I do like the iOS version of their mobile app so far.  

I'm sure I missed some items and still not fully done in all of the setup yet. But so far so good in terms of complimentary use of C4/Josh.  It has worked so well that I removed 3 of my 5 T3's and sold them already.  a 4th has been moved to Mud Room/Garage Entry as a de facto secondary alarm panel to arm/disarm the house.  The last T3 will be removed next spring once the Nano comes out (late 1st Qtr/first 2nd Qtr).  Definitely plan on getting several Nano's for remaining areas of home and backyard and the 2 Core units for processing.  I saw that part in their keynote about the temp sensor on the Nano but they didn't get into detail about it.  I'm hoping more details come out as I'd use those Nano's in future rooms and move the C4 thermostats to my rack room.  The Nano's are also will come with ability to purchase a paintable cap to blend fully with wall or in the black or white.  Their keynote on YouTube (skip past the pre-show) is really informative and well presented.

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, gregheard said:

So far have them installed in 3 locations and they work great.  The biggest benefits so far have been:

  • Compound commands - rattling off shades closing/opening + Lights to a random brightness + unlocking the back door as an example. 
  • Natural language - You don't have to be overly exact with the commands.  You also don't have to call out all lights.  I have 4 different kitchen light loads and can just say Ok Josh turn the kitchen lights to 50% and it will turn them all one versus having to call out each light load separately like some other systems or create a scene
  • Scene creation is super powerful and easy - You can type the commands into your phone, say them via speech to text or use the online portal.  A morning coffee scene to raise the shades in 4 rooms on 1st floor set lights to a specific brightness in 3 different zones and turn on the kitchen TV to specific source and channel all can be done in less than a minute and tested.  Then you can create a custom scene name and custom response unique to your liking.

They just recently partnered with Control4 on the music side but as of now just for the deep integration to the Pandora Music service.  I have a basic account with Pandora so later this week the integrator will finish that.  I use Tidal for all my current keypads and music scenes for guest rooms/bathrooms so those will stay same.  Once Tidal, Spotify, etc. get their C4 integration more with Josh I'll use Tidal with it exclusively.    

There are some items it doesn't integrate with as of yet here at home (i.e. Rachio irrigation system, Moen FloMeter, etc.).  Upgrading in future to AVPro Edge matrix and they have native integration with Josh and C4.  Unsure about pool controls (Pentair, Hayward).  Unfortunately no garage controls other than with the Garageio and Lutron so no solution for MyQ in this case which is a bummer.

The interface IMHO is streamlined and it's nice to have a main dashboard showing devices that are on and quick actions options you can take to turn them on or off.  The scenes are also available to be pinned on the Dashboard as well.  OS3.0 is cool but I do like the iOS version of their mobile app so far.  

I'm sure I missed some items and still not fully done in all of the setup yet. But so far so good in terms of complimentary use of C4/Josh.  It has worked so well that I removed 3 of my 5 T3's and sold them already.  a 4th has been moved to Mud Room/Garage Entry as a de facto secondary alarm panel to arm/disarm the house.  The last T3 will be removed next spring once the Nano comes out (late 1st Qtr/first 2nd Qtr).  Definitely plan on getting several Nano's for remaining areas of home and backyard and the 2 Core units for processing.  I saw that part in their keynote about the temp sensor on the Nano but they didn't get into detail about it.  I'm hoping more details come out as I'd use those Nano's in future rooms and move the C4 thermostats to my rack room.  The Nano's are also will come with ability to purchase a paintable cap to blend fully with wall or in the black or white.  Their keynote on YouTube (skip past the pre-show) is really informative and well presented.

 

 

 

Thanks for the insight! Would you mind sharing a price breakdown?

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On 11/17/2020 at 9:16 PM, gregheard said:

So far have them installed in 3 locations and they work great.  The biggest benefits so far have been:

  • Compound commands - rattling off shades closing/opening + Lights to a random brightness + unlocking the back door as an example. 
  • Natural language - You don't have to be overly exact with the commands.  You also don't have to call out all lights.  I have 4 different kitchen light loads and can just say Ok Josh turn the kitchen lights to 50% and it will turn them all one versus having to call out each light load separately like some other systems or create a scene
  • Scene creation is super powerful and easy - You can type the commands into your phone, say them via speech to text or use the online portal.  A morning coffee scene to raise the shades in 4 rooms on 1st floor set lights to a specific brightness in 3 different zones and turn on the kitchen TV to specific source and channel all can be done in less than a minute and tested.  Then you can create a custom scene name and custom response unique to your liking.

They just recently partnered with Control4 on the music side but as of now just for the deep integration to the Pandora Music service.  I have a basic account with Pandora so later this week the integrator will finish that.  I use Tidal for all my current keypads and music scenes for guest rooms/bathrooms so those will stay same.  Once Tidal, Spotify, etc. get their C4 integration more with Josh I'll use Tidal with it exclusively.    

There are some items it doesn't integrate with as of yet here at home (i.e. Rachio irrigation system, Moen FloMeter, etc.).  Upgrading in future to AVPro Edge matrix and they have native integration with Josh and C4.  Unsure about pool controls (Pentair, Hayward).  Unfortunately no garage controls other than with the Garageio and Lutron so no solution for MyQ in this case which is a bummer.

The interface IMHO is streamlined and it's nice to have a main dashboard showing devices that are on and quick actions options you can take to turn them on or off.  The scenes are also available to be pinned on the Dashboard as well.  OS3.0 is cool but I do like the iOS version of their mobile app so far.  

I'm sure I missed some items and still not fully done in all of the setup yet. But so far so good in terms of complimentary use of C4/Josh.  It has worked so well that I removed 3 of my 5 T3's and sold them already.  a 4th has been moved to Mud Room/Garage Entry as a de facto secondary alarm panel to arm/disarm the house.  The last T3 will be removed next spring once the Nano comes out (late 1st Qtr/first 2nd Qtr).  Definitely plan on getting several Nano's for remaining areas of home and backyard and the 2 Core units for processing.  I saw that part in their keynote about the temp sensor on the Nano but they didn't get into detail about it.  I'm hoping more details come out as I'd use those Nano's in future rooms and move the C4 thermostats to my rack room.  The Nano's are also will come with ability to purchase a paintable cap to blend fully with wall or in the black or white.  Their keynote on YouTube (skip past the pre-show) is really informative and well presented.

 

 

 

Sounds pretty great!  Thank you for the detailed feedback on your experience - sounds like they work great.  Do you find they pick up your voice as well as Alexa from across the room?  Any problems with responding from the right room when two hear at the same time?  Also, curious why you want to remove all the T3s - I don't have any yet but was thinking I'd want some to blend physical control with voice - are you finding them unreliable or is it more an aesthetic thing?

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@Dueport I personally have not used Alexa in my home for a few reasons.  I did go visit a speaker manufacturer locally that has a model where they are embedded into the speaker to try and do a sort of Voice-Cast function.  It was clunky and not reliable enough to justify spending the money in my opinion.  Also because you can't do compound commands in the same type of way nor create aliases as I'm aware the Alexa was a non-starter.  So the units were installed on Saturday and programming began on Monday.  The voice picks up very well and don't have to speak loudly to pick up commands fully.  Because of the natural language function I have found I don't need to be exacting with my terminology.  Plus I've created several aliases for devices to create more leeway.  Lastly creating the scenes via speech to text  and also just via directly speaking to the Micro has been great.  I can do it without having my phone nearby and created a few scenes so far just by giving the commands audibly.

I sold the T3's for a few reasons:

  • I was using them to access scenes and now can just speak them which I don't need to be nearby
  • I was using them to access lights and I just use voice now and can do it individually or by a grouping of lights
  • For music I mainly use my phone to queue up a playlist anyway in Tidal and then add zones.  I never used the T3's for video source call-up; using the Neeo remotes and phone typically
  • My only frequent use of the touchscreens was to arm/disarm the house several times a day.  In this case I just moved my 10" T3 into the Mud Room/Garage entry and the others were replaced by the Micros.
  • My spouse never used the touchscreens - always uses her phone, Neeo or tells me to do such and such.  
  • The cost basis to sell the T3's covered the install labor and a portion of the Micros so it made financial sense

I bought the Micros before their keynote and didn't know what would be released.  I am definitely keeping the Micros but knowing what they are releasing next spring I'd have done all Nano's.  Fully intend to pick up 4-5 more Nano's with 2 Core's once they come out.  This will allow me to extend to areas I hadn't planned to put touchscreens but want to access the system without needing a physical interface at my fingertips (i.e. patio, pool covered area, living room, master bath, home office).  The aesthetic of the Nano's is quite appealing and they will have an unpainted optional cap that I can then paint-match to my walls in the same way my in-wall and in-ceiling multiroom audio is setup.  I do still plan to have a touch screen (table top T4) for a home theater project I just started but will have a Nano behind stretched fabric to cue up scenes.

In comparing the integration it does appear that Crestron is further along than Control4 in some elements but I fully expect that gap to close after giving feedback on a few items to my integrator and Josh support.  In one case (some fireplaces switches without the driver) they made programming changes to Josh Wednesday morning and was working on all 3 fireplaces by early afternoon.  Lastly, the ability to have alot of control over scene creations in multiple ways (Portal, mobile app, speech to text, and speak directly to device) has been well worth and feel confident I'll use this to further advance my C4 elements in the home much more than what I did via the T3's.  

 

Edited by gregheard
grammatical correction
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On 11/19/2020 at 10:31 AM, gregheard said:

@Dueport I personally have not used Alexa in my home for a few reasons.  I did go visit a speaker manufacturer locally that has a model where they are embedded into the speaker to try and do a sort of Voice-Cast function.  It was clunky and not reliable enough to justify spending the money in my opinion.  Also because you can't do compound commands in the same type of way nor create aliases as I'm aware the Alexa was a non-starter.  So the units were installed on Saturday and programming began on Monday.  The voice picks up very well and don't have to speak loudly to pick up commands fully.  Because of the natural language function I have found I don't need to be exacting with my terminology.  Plus I've created several aliases for devices to create more leeway.  Lastly creating the scenes via speech to text  and also just via directly speaking to the Micro has been great.  I can do it without having my phone nearby and created a few scenes so far just by giving the commands audibly.

I sold the T3's for a few reasons:

  • I was using them to access scenes and now can just speak them which I don't need to be nearby
  • I was using them to access lights and I just use voice now and can do it individually or by a grouping of lights
  • For music I mainly use my phone to queue up a playlist anyway in Tidal and then add zones.  I never used the T3's for video source call-up; using the Neeo remotes and phone typically
  • My only frequent use of the touchscreens was to arm/disarm the house several times a day.  In this case I just moved my 10" T3 into the Mud Room/Garage entry and the others were replaced by the Micros.
  • My spouse never used the touchscreens - always uses her phone, Neeo or tells me to do such and such.  
  • The cost basis to sell the T3's covered the install labor and a portion of the Micros so it made financial sense

I bought the Micros before their keynote and didn't know what would be released.  I am definitely keeping the Micros but knowing what they are releasing next spring I'd have done all Nano's.  Fully intend to pick up 4-5 more Nano's with 2 Core's once they come out.  This will allow me to extend to areas I hadn't planned to put touchscreens but want to access the system without needing a physical interface at my fingertips (i.e. patio, pool covered area, living room, master bath, home office).  The aesthetic of the Nano's is quite appealing and they will have an unpainted optional cap that I can then paint-match to my walls in the same way my in-wall and in-ceiling multiroom audio is setup.  I do still plan to have a touch screen (table top T4) for a home theater project I just started but will have a Nano behind stretched fabric to cue up scenes.

In comparing the integration it does appear that Crestron is further along than Control4 in some elements but I fully expect that gap to close after giving feedback on a few items to my integrator and Josh support.  In one case (some fireplaces switches without the driver) they made programming changes to Josh Wednesday morning and was working on all 3 fireplaces by early afternoon.  Lastly, the ability to have alot of control over scene creations in multiple ways (Portal, mobile app, speech to text, and speak directly to device) has been well worth and feel confident I'll use this to further advance my C4 elements in the home much more than what I did via the T3's.  

 

This is great feedback on both the Josh and T3s.   Really appreciate the time you spent providing this level of detail.  Josh sounds very very tempting.  Look forward to your experience with the Nano and Core next year!  Thanks again for taking the time!

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On 11/23/2020 at 8:41 AM, Dueport said:

This is great feedback on both the Josh and T3s.   Really appreciate the time you spent providing this level of detail.  Josh sounds very very tempting.  Look forward to your experience with the Nano and Core next year!  Thanks again for taking the time!

They came out great and paint matched to wall (Wall-Smart units).  I'm sure the Nano units when paint matched next spring will look better in other spots since they are smaller and more discrete

62770494626__FC4C6F72-2E05-4FBC-A7BF-8204CEDE8C54 2.HEIC IMG_2247.HEIC

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