Speech Recognition



Looking into SR products, I would like to hear the communities suggestions.
Looking to be able to use SR around the house , not over the phone, to turn lights on and off, perhaps appliances etc..

Any sugesstions on what hardware and software are needed to complete this set-up are appreciated.

You can see I am a little biased based on my username but I think if VR/SR is what you are looking for you at least have to take a close look at HAL2000. IMO it has the best VR in this industry. If nothing else it is the easiest to setup. And thats a fact! Homeseer also has VR capailities so look there as well. Hardware wise if you are just looking for lighting control I suggest UPB. You can find all these products and much more at Automated Outlet.
keep in mind that the you will need to spend some money on good microphones if you want the VR to be reliable. I personally like the Crown microphones (1 or more room), or the Acoustic Magic (for a big room). Both are available from AO as well.
From what i have read HAL has a better VR engine. I cant remember what engine they use but I do recall reading that its superior to the microsoft VR engine which HomeSeer uses. Although HomeSeer VR is not horrible. I have used it a few times but the biggest limitation when using HomeSeer VR is that you have to train to to recognize one voice and multiple voices are only availble if you switch between profiles.

There is a science which im not sure that anyone has mastered yet but Location of the microphones and the Type and quality of microphones is important. No matter which software you decide to go with make sure you talk to people who are using VR with the software and pick the mics that are working best for everyone else in similar situations as yours. For example you may want to use a mic outside in the yard of in the basement where there is alot of echo whereas someone else may be in a sound proof room with no echo.

You can get away with just a simple mic but most people use some sort of switching device to enable only one mic at a time. VR is very tricky. Search the HS forums for VR and Voice Recognition and you will find a wealth of information.
Yes with HAL there is no training necessary. Any one who comes over and doesn't slur to much, can control HAL. :)

I use the Crown PZM line level mic's and SCM 810 Mixer for intelligent control and switching. It works VERY WELL as long as there is NO! background noise. That is the frusturating thing, the technology does not exist to discern voice from noise so until it does VR's full potential is limited. But with intelligent switching you can have mics turn off automatically when TVs or Stereos in the room are on.

One of the HAL master's Jim Lipsit outlines a great setup for a intelligent open air mic system. Check out his site: Jims webpage
There is a wealth of info there.

Happy HA Hunting,
Shawn Walsh