Ivee or Ubi

I’ve had the ubi since Wednesday. First couple days were bad, but by yesterday it was starting to work better. A few of my smartthings phrases don’t want to work so I need to change the command to something else. Looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future.

Waiting for ACB access. Found out they are holding off giving anyone else access until they do some upgrades to the portal.

One interesting oddity. In their examples they have play Britney Spears. Well my wife tried that and ended up with an expletive filled song that certainly wasn’t Britney. LOL.

That’s pretty funny. Just as an FYI when I setup my Ubi a couple weeks back when things were stable, I also had voice command issues with Smartthings. The word light or lights seemed to cause issues. So I setup the commands supper simple. Like “Bedroom on” “Family on” “Kitchen off” for controlling room lights.

Good Idea. I’ll try this.

So, I bought the Ubi, and have set it up. Here is my critique:

  1. Ubi’s accuracy for me, 10ft away, is pretty decent with “Ok Ubi” and basic commands.
  2. It has troubles understanding longer utterances (voice commands) such as “Ok Ubi… Turn off Master Bedroom Light”. But changing it to “Ok Ubi… Turn off Bedroom Light” works.
  3. I’m craving a way to have more “auto-generated” commands for utterance. “Ok Ubi, turn off all lights” or “Ok Ubi… lock all doors” or “Ok Ubi… Turn of/on xxxxx Light” and xxxx it uses a case to determine what I said, and correlate it with the proper light.
  4. Ubi does use wildcard utterances, just haven’t had a chance to play with it much. Looks powerful, I am hoping someone here has started building this stuff out already.
  5. The girlfriend thinks this thing is cool. (Damn, I am a lucky guy!.).
  6. I have the TV on with a low-mid volume level (think 3-4 out of 10 scale), and still can call ok Ubi… not perfect, but higher accuracy the expected. (80%ish)
  7. I hope SmartThings is working with them, in providing easy integration/encouraging further integration…as the Android app handles getting everything configured/automated, but the Ubi could potentially let me customize the environment and give commands outside of automation, which would be a perfect match for me.
  8. I realize a custom SmartApp has been created by a user in our forums, but if SmartThings could make this into an object I can trigger on, and utilize each sensor in it for events/etc, it would be incredible as well, as it is a cheap multi-sensor packed full of bells and whistles.

Anyways, its late, that’s enough for now. Night!


I think every one of those points is on par with my experience… well, maybe not #5. Honestly, I haven’t shown it to my gf yet as my wife would probably get angry if I brought her home. (Kidding… kidding!)

Technically, you can do #3, though it’s really designed more from the assumption that you have a local server running your HA rather than integrating with ST. The Ubi people have said that they plan to add some basic If-Then functionality in the near future which might allow this to happen.

As for #2 and #4… the two sorta go hand in hand. For example, here’s my utterance for turning on my Kitchen light:


So all Ubi is listening for any: (anything) on (anything) kitchen (anything) or (anything) kitchen (anything) on. This makes it much more likely that Ubi will understand what I’m asking for and I don’t have to remember the exact phrase. I can say:

Turn the kitchen on
Turn the kitchen light on
Please turn on the kitchen light
Turn on the kitchen

Any of those four phrases will trigger the customer behavior.


Thanks, Ill play with that.

Yeah, an if statement would be nice, so would a case/switch statement.

Hey @chrisb : your Utterance wildcard works perfectly. I have it turning on key sets of lights, turning off, opening closing garage, and turning on all / off all lights at once. Very cool!. And it has a high accuracy with the TV on, so i am starting to truly feel the “smart home” kicking in.

Now ubi just needs a way to mass import/export utterances, and SmartThings needs to allow us to “tag” SmartThings (Zwave/Zigbee/etc) so that I can just trigger an on/off to a tag/group. Because I have some 15 lights listed to be turned on, and off, etc.

:slight_smile: So far, I have no Ubi complaints considering it is a “beta”. My key thing now is for it to respond faster.

[quote=“darrylb, post:26, topic:4590, full:true”]
Hey @chrisb : your Utterance wildcard works perfectly. I have it turning on key sets of lights, turning off, opening closing garage, and turning on all / off all lights at once. Very cool!. And it has a high accuracy with the TV on, so i am starting to truly feel the “smart home” kicking in.[/quote]

Yeah, those wildcards make a HUGE difference. I was kinda sort on time when I made the post so I couldn’t really break it all down and you probably already figured it out, but is anyone else needs the details:

(.*) = wild card… or ignore anything said here.

(phrase)|(phrase) = Either, or… Either either phrase is said trigger the action. Also you can string along as many phrases as you want in there, but…

As for speed, I’ve noticed that more complicated custom behaviors tends to slow Ubi down a little bit. It’s better than it used to be I’ve definitely noticed a slow down if I have a lot of customer behaviors and/or have before complex customer behavior triggers.

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Yeah Ill submit a ticket, maybe I can work with them on the speed of it. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I say “Ok Ubi” it takes a varying amount of time to begin taking input. So, definitely want to work with them on that…

Sorry…haven’t read the whole page yet, but…
I’ve been thinking about voice integration, and as I look around (IVEE and Ubi), it seems like these systems have one very important problem…unless I’m misunderstanding something, they only have one unit each, and if we have to be with 5-15’, then that means this thing (whichever one) will only bring voice integration to that very small portion of a single room in the house, not to the whole house.

$300 just to add this functionality to a small portion of a single room in the house (i.e. I might have to get up from the couch to walk over to the ‘active range area’ of this thing just to talk to it to tell it to change the channel for me or something? Way too expensive for just that small bit of neatoness. I want more neatoness in the deal for that much money.

Is there a solution out there yet that covers the whole house (microphones in every room; perhaps multiples in each to cover the whole thing)?

Has anybody played around with different ways of accomplishing this yet?

I understand that the concept may still be in infancy, and I know of the accuracy problems and all that, and there may not really be a way to do it up ‘right’ quite yet, but even if we could have a partial, that would be cool.

There’s a voice control discussion topic that covers most of the currently available choices.

Short answer is to use your phone.

If you have Android, SharpTools is popular.

If you have Siri and iOS8, there’s an IFTTT method identified by Will Poirier that works really well, although the voice commands sound a little clunky.

These and others are discussed here:

I’m quadriparetic, so voice control is really important to me. I’m using the Siri method now with excellent results.

Thanks a lot for the pointers and link to the other thread. :slight_smile:

@sgnihttrams : I’ll sell you my UBI if your interested.

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To answer your original question: Yes, that is a limitation of Ubi or Ivee. You can add more units of course, but you add them at the full expense for each one. Now, there are some side benefits… like using them as intercoms between rooms… but generally those benefits don’t off set the price tag.

You can also, using the UbiCC app, speak to Ubi through your phone from anywhere in your house, or the world… but this starts to beg the question of… why? If I’m pulling out my phone anyway, why not just open the ST app to do what you want to do?

I still use my Ubi for some things and I still have hopes for Voice Integration, but it’s just not quite ready for prime time yet.

Handsfree voice is a very different experience than take out the phone and start tapping and pressing (and looking to see where you’re tapping.)

I’m quadriparetic with limited hand function. I didn’t even have a phone until a month ago, as I can’t hold one. Now I have one that lives on a table in the living room to give me always on handsfree voice control over most of my ST installation. Eventually I plan to pair it with a smart watch so I will have handsfree voice control from anywhere in the house or yard.

So I need it, but it’s also very useful to the person bringing in groceries, or carrying a baby, or up a ladder fixing something.

Mobile app is nice, but handsfree voice is a whole other level.


[quote=“JDRoberts, post:34, topic:4590”]
Handsfree voice is a very different experience than take out the phone and start tapping and pressing (and looking to see where you’re tapping.)[/quote]

Oh, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying the UbiCC app on an Android phone can “extend” the range of an Ubi so you can speak to Ubi from anywhere in your house, not just in the same room as Ubi.

But, in order to use the UbiCC app you need to pull out your phone, open the app, and tap on the button to start speaking. If you’re doing this anyway, then why not just the SmartThing app to do what you want? You lose 95% of the benefit of voice control by using the UbiCC app. The Ubi app is NOT an always on, always listening app so you still need to launch it, then tap the right buttons to get it started listening.

I’ve had mixed results, personally, with my SmartWatch being able to do voice stuff with my phone when it’s not close. I can maintain a solid connection to my phone from my Android Wear (Samsung Gear Live) from anywhere in the house if my phone is on the main floor, but voice commands seem to not transmit as well if I’m upstairs or downstairs. Maybe sending a larger packet of data (ie, voice) is hard to do via Bluetooth? Pure guess on my part.

That said, if you are looking to go the Android Wear route… I’d recommend looking at the Moto 360 which I believe can be charged wirelessly out of the box. I know putting the charged on my Gear Live can be a bit tricky even for us able bodied people.

Sorry I misunderstood the other point. My bad.

On the watch, I think you are right on Bluetooth. The AppleWatch is going to solve this in a completely different way, as the watch can communicate with the phone via WiFi when they are on the same network. And it requires no taps or button pushes to initiate, just the “raise to listen” gesture. So they are promising Siri with whole house coverage for the watch as long as the phone is anywhere on the same WiFi network. (I get updates from an accessibility group which is working with them and has tested it.)

So I will likely go with AppleWatch, but probably not until gen 2, we’ll see. My plan, as I’ve mentioned before, is to evaluate everything from scratch in summer 2016, so perhaps Samsung or other smart watch manufacturers will have improved their phone voice operation by then as well.

How much would you want for it?

Ya, I looked into the app a little bit, and it looks cool, but I agree with you about the 95%. Kind of goofy to have to open the app to use a voice-activated feature/system/

What about the idea of installing some kind of microphones throughout the house that are tied into the Ubi?

Beyond that, what about using AutoVoice in Tasker to listen and trigger events to be sent to Ubi…and/or just directly to SmartThings (in which case, perhaps something like the Ubi is completely irrelevant)?

Send me a PM, we can figure out a reasonable price.