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Topic # 215124 13-Jun-2017 11:07
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Wondering if anyone has tried Google Home and Alexa and can offer insights on both. I am moving into a new place soon and I am looking to put in a fair bit of automation cool stuff like HUE lights etc.

 

Anyone got any recommendations for either one? Does Assistant work well with Google Home in NZ for example?

 

Appreciate any thoughts :)


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  Reply # 1799210 13-Jun-2017 11:21
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havent tried google home, went the alexa route, mostly for price.  amazon echo dots are pretty cheap so can litter your house with them, amazon echos can be bought fairly cheap if you hunt.  amazon tap is a great speaker (that now has hands free, so listens to "alexa" wake word) that you can pickup and take around (I use it while outside cooking a barbie).

 

the tap doesnt let you "call" or "message" though.  i personally find "call home" (lets you call all the alexa devices in your house) a great feature and use it as a intercom (only 1 to 1 though, cant broadcast "dinners ready" to the whole house).

 

alexa doesnt isnt "room aware" though (neither is google home) where you can just say "alexa lights on", and it knows which room you are in and turns on those lights.  that will be a killer feature, one that wouldnt be hard to implement, if they just implemented.

 

alexa doesnt work with NZ weather either.  but the timezone works just fine.

 

you can make "groups" so i have a group "downstairs lights" "upstairs lights" "outside lights" etc and can turn off/on all those with a single phrase, so thats great.

 

 

 

so yeah my experience/thoughts on alexa, but have no insight into google home.   also "Alexa [whatever]" rolls off the tongue better than "Ok google [whatever]" or "hey google [whatever]"




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  Reply # 1799213 13-Jun-2017 11:24
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Thanks man that is interesting, I didn't consider the lights in different rooms issue. Although mine is a small unit I have purchased, It may not be such a big deal for me.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1799214 13-Jun-2017 11:24
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We have both at work in our "Home of the Future" IME the Alexa assistant is smarter. 

 

A simple test I did the other day, here in the UK. "Tell me about the Election" Alexa knew about the election, who the parties were and all that jazz, where as the Google Home just pulled up a Wikipedia article on what an Election is. 

 

The Google Home does have a better speaker built in.

 

Personally I'd get an Echo Dot and plug it into an external media player if using it for audio.


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  Reply # 1799218 13-Jun-2017 11:31
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i like playing with mine too

 

"Alexa, sing me a song"

 

"Alexa, sing take me out to the ball game"

 

"Alexa, do i look pretty?"

 

if you do those things around kids, theyre entertained for hours trying to ask it stuff.

 

 

 

room aware is import for things like "Alexa, turn on TV", "Alexa, tell Ambi I'm felling cold" etc, so it knows which room you are in, it can tell the appropriate device to respond.  just makes things easier than "Alexa, turn on the Lounge TV", "Alexa, turn on the lounge lights".  I want the whole star trek thing on "Computer Lights".  alexa, also doesnt seem to know the state of things, so you cant toggle things by saying "Alexa Lounge Lights" to turn them on if theyre off on on if they are off.

 

I do find my self using voice more and more over pushing a button.  I know pushing a button is super easy, its worked for 100+ years, but idk, maybe its the new cool thing but voice I find more convient.  Well for the short voice commands.  "Alexa, turn off master bedside right light" is a mouthful.


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  Reply # 1799337 13-Jun-2017 13:54
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My google home for some reason is telling me temperatures in F now. Which is useless when asking what tomorrows weather is. I will look for a setting sometime but it used to be ok so not sure its something I have changed.





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  Reply # 1799441 13-Jun-2017 14:58
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Haha so aside from the Degrees not in Celsius how has it been?


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  Reply # 1799444 13-Jun-2017 15:01
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I really only ask it for the time while im in bed so I dont have to turn a light on to see a clock, use it to turn the light on and off and ask how cold it will be the next day. Also adding things to calander when I remember.

 

Alexa can add to calander better than the google. Google also calls things an "e vent" like you would say email and is much less flexible at dates and times for things.

 

No harm having both, they are quite cheap compared to that one apple announced.





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  Reply # 1801311 15-Jun-2017 10:46
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So I'm just doing some research for work.  If you had an Echo Dot type device in a hotel room what would you use it for?  Just looking for some suggestions apart from lights/heat etc.  Designing the hotel of the future cool




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  Reply # 1801315 15-Jun-2017 10:52
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Setting an Alarm or a Wake up call, open/close curtains, call reception !


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  Reply # 1801316 15-Jun-2017 10:53
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Information about the area/hotel, room service/concierge/ wake up calls/ DND mode (disable cleaners room access). 

 

If it has an API, chances are you can integrate it with the Alexa voice service somehow. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1801383 15-Jun-2017 11:17
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just got my curtains working with alexa, really stupid speech though (vera skill doesnt truely support shutters/curtains atm). so i have to say "alexa, turn on open curtains", "alexa, turn on close curtains".

 

however, i dont see myself using that one that much as the curtains are tied to other things like sunset/sunrise, tv being on/off.  but its cool to say, well it would be cool if it was just "alexa, curtains" and they toggled....




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  Reply # 1801413 15-Jun-2017 11:25
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Nice, I have always been interested in setting up Blinds/Curtains to automatically draw as an alarm or part of a wake routine. 

 

Can you link what product you got?


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  Reply # 1801416 15-Jun-2017 11:34
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just using a fibaro roller shutter 2 from activeautomation.co.nz.

 

most curtain motors have neutral, live, switch 1, switch 2.  so they should work with those.

 

pretty easy to setup, and still work with the wall switch, but I wont be using the wall switch now.


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  Reply # 1801988 16-Jun-2017 10:45
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Are NZ accents a problem? google on a galaxy is almost useless for navigation - and I have a fairly clear, almost english accent but cant get it to navigate to 90% of places. don't even ask about searching for info.

 

Also names like glyn (e.g. call glyn, call murray, call askin ) all go wrong almost every time.

 

I try navigating to places and it puts me somewhere in the UK or USA half the time - even with location turned on.

 

I think it's an accent issue. Or is Google home / Alexa very limited to specific actions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1801992 16-Jun-2017 10:51
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alexa gets most things right, adding things to the shopping list can be a bit of a hit and miss with some things.

 

 

 

e.g.
me: "alexa and spray and wipe to the shopping list"
alexa: "ok, adding spray and white to the shopping list"
shopping list: contains 2 items, "spray" and second one "white"

 

for things like "play [artist|songtitle|genre|etc]" thats all fine.  for things like '"turn on [device name]" that works great too.  i'd say all those things are about 99% fine, but shopping list is about 70% (but when I read the list I know what i meant).   

 

Timers can be wrong at times too, my wife was asking for "15 minutes" and it kept saying "ok 10 minutes", "NO F*****ING 15 minutes", "Ok 10 minutes".  she got pissed off (wife, not alexa, my alexa is never mad at me....)


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