Voice Command Solution - Discussion

@redlikemethodz and @infofiend I’m glad you guys are enjoying SharpTools and the voice command functionality!

For anyone else looking for additional details on how to control your home with your voice (using SharpTools and Tasker), check out the following tutorial:

Holy Cow SharpTools is great! I love your variable code! It took me a little bit to get it all working properly but over all not to bad. I have only been using it for one day but so far i feel I am having a 98% success rate with the voice recognition. For the future versions I would love to have a variable setting for phrases also, but for now I can put a profile in for each of my phrases.

Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad you like SharpTools! I’ve added your feedback around adding a variable mode for phrases to the Trello board and think its a great addition.

I have set up on a side table in my living room an old android tablet running FlorianZ’s HADashboard complete with full screen mode and motion detection as FlorianZ describes in his setup process. I also have that tablet connected to an iwave Windsor Wireless Bluetooth Speaker I found at TJ Max for under $30. The speaker has a mic built in meant to be used for making calls; but, also allows “Okay Google” to be activated on the tablet. Using Joshua Lyon’s SharpTools, Autovoice, and Tasker, I can now use the touchscreen dashboard or just use voice commands to interact with all of my Things. The mic on the speaker is far better than the one built into the tablet allowing me to communicate with it in an almost conversational tone from nearly 15 feet away. I think this setup takes away the need for Ubi or Ivee while also providing a lot more functionality.

On a side note, Joshua Lyon was great to work with for anyone interested in checking out SharpTools. It’s amazing what all it is currently capable of doing and I can’t wait to see what he has in mind for the future. At one point I ran myself into a mental block brick wall trying to create a widget on my phone that would toggle a light and also show me the real time state of that light. He responded to my question within a half hour with a guide complete with a step by step instructions and screenshots.


Sounds like a great setup! Do you have to touch the screen or speaker at all after the initial setup? I mean literally at all, whether it’s the home button or a swipe or a button on the speaker. Could someone with no arms use it? (I’m quadriparetic, which isn’t quite the same as no arms, but similar issues.)

The HADashboard by FlorianZ does require touch input if you are to use it on its own as a controller; however, if you are just going to use it as a visual representation of the state of your Things, it is definitely possible to only use voice with no physical interaction thanks to SharpTools, Autovoice, and Tasker. I have found that every so often the web page that is hosting HADashboard needs to be refreshed, which could probably be done by voice with a Tasker task, or that the tablet needs to be restarted like any computer, smart phone, or tablet. Also, sometime the tablet gets hung on the “Google Now” interface after I give it a voice command and does not return to my dashboard. I believe that I just need to add in a line to the task that tells it to launch the webpage again. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I believe this could be run with very very little interaction. Let me know if I can help you get anything setup. I’m a novice but learning fast.

Yeah, the problem is a lot of this stuff becomes essential rather than just convenient, so what’s a small bump for someone with more mobility becomes a fall off a cliff for a quad.

IOS has better accessibility tools built in then android. (And lollipop broke some of the ones it did have.)

Here’s how a person without functional arms uses a touchscreen. (This is a Wall Street journal article from October 2014.) You’ll see most people are all IOS, and the one person who has a Samsung phone mentions that many android apps are unusable for her–she has an iPad as her tablet.

" http://www.wsj.com/video/tecla-shield-reconnects-injured-to-mobile-devices/EC8FDFA1-6D4D-48C6-A808-3812C412C04E.html "

Anyway, I use iOS now, it would take a killer app for me to try android since I already know a lot of stuff will be inaccessible to me.

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Trello would be really sweet if it worked with Action dashboard.


I bought a cheap Android 4.4 tablet for $40 a couple of weeks ago (I’ve used only iOS devices until then). I have played around with the SharpTools / Tasker / Autovoice functionality. It takes a little setting up (the set-up appears to require substantial physical interaction with device), but once it is - there’s no need to touch the device at all. There’s nothing on iOS (at least to my knowledge) that comes close to this extended accessibility functionality.

I also agree with @dhen that using a small bluetooth microphone / speaker really helps with range & accuracy.

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Thanks! I’m definitely tempted by it, and if I used it as a dedicated device it’s not a big deal if I can’t do anything else on it. I’d have to have a friend set it up.

The Bluetooth microphone is an awesome idea, do you think it would work with the tablet over a 10 to 15 foot range, or would it have to be within 3 to 6? A lot of Bluetooth voice control that’s supposed to work at a 10 foot range fails even for quality devices like jabra and the headset companies all claim it’s a receiving device issue. I’ve never had a cheap tablet, just don’t know if this is a common field issue or not.

I’d love to set up a cheap tablet as a desktop command center, then my aides could also use it by touch, but I’d like to be able to use it anywhere in the main room, which is about 20 feet long. So put the tablet centrally. Also then the tablet could stay plugged in all the time.

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Does your setup have a voice response to request, like saying, “The Lighting has been reduce to 25%”?

I have one of those tablets for about a month, and I am in the process of trying to use SharpTools / Tasker / Autovoice, but it has been slow between work and family. Would you share the tasker profile for this functionality or your setting for Autovoice and Tasker.

I think I got the trigger word I setup to work to turn lights on/off and toggle, but toggle needs to be under its own command. I got stuck trying to set the dimmer levels by using a wildcard to call up any dimmer device. I also cannot get the beeps to turn off and keep the autovoice functionality and get the say command to work with any voice tts,

My set up with Sharp Tools and Commandr for “OK Google” is touch free! I installed a dock app that keeps my Tab 3 8.0 on In a dim screen state while plugged in which allows me to just Say Ok Google anytime. (Located in dining room can use speak from kitchen or living room without moving it, but only if nothing else is on or at a volume that is too high!) when I can speak while playing loud music I will be in nerd heaven!

In my bedroom my S5 sits on a QI Charger and I can just use voice without touching the device ever. I use IFTTT to turn my bedroom lights on every morning as a secondary alarm clock and I can just say “ok Google master bedroom lights off” and turn them off. Everything works surprisingly well!


@DarcRanger , @noc_guy ,

Very interesting, thanks. I think I’m going to skip it for now. Eventually either a smart watch or Amazon Echo or HomeKit or something else will give me the kind of plug and play voice control I need. I’m expecting by summer 2016.

Only one of my aides is both techie enough and has good enough english to be able to do this kind of setup for me, and he only has one four hour shift every two weeks. And I don’t want to pay extra to have someone set something up that I expect will be coming standard in the next gen cycle.

I’m sure this can be made to work great for a lot of people, just that my particular situation (I’m quadriparetic, wheelchair dependent, very limited use of my hands.)

Lollipop broke switch control, which is how people like me use touch screen devices. So I couldn’t do my own tinkering like I can in iOS.

Anyway, I’ll just hit pause for now. Thanks for the information!

@Will_Poirier is using Siri to send text messages to IFTTT to trigger SmartThings. The usual caveats apply: IFTTT can take a minute or two to process a request (nothing to do with ST, see the IFTTT FAQ), the ST channel is somewhat limited, etc. but interesting. I’m going to try this one. :blush:

Ivee is terrible. Bought two and they are useless. they get a command righr 5% of the time.


For those already using Siri with iOS8 and unlimited SMS texting, @Will_Poirier 's IFTTT method works for totally handsfree voice control at no extra cost and no custom code required. :blush:

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When I read this when it was posted I thought WOW, why didn’t I think of that. Siri and Google have amazing voice recognition (ok not always) this is the simplest “Hack” to control your home with your voice.

This reminds me…is anyone using an always on wireless microphone they recommend? Where you don’t have to tap a button to activate it?

I have a desktop microphone for my laptop which is always on, but I haven’t found a wireless equivalent yet.

I’m using Hey Siri and I’m quite happy with it, but the range is limited.

I know AppleWatch will solve this (watch connects to phone via WiFi, so range is whole house plus yard), but I’m planning to wait for 2nd gen watch if I can.

(If you haven’t seen watch yet, interaction protocol is excellent. Lift wrist in Dick Tracey type movement and Hey Siri wakes up, no button press required but watch preserves battery life. Perfect for my needs.)

minor update after a few weeks: I’m really happy with the IFTTT solution for now. Response is very quick once the message is sent, usually under 5 seconds. Siri seems to be understanding me better. We’ve found good phrases for everything after some trial and error.

We did shorten a few common phrases that were easy to remember, so “hashtag TV” to turn on the entertainment center power strip instead of " hashtag central_tv_on" and “hashtag kitchen” instead of “hashtag kitchen_light_on.” We kept the longer phrases as well for consistency, but a couple of shortcuts made a big difference.


Hi Folks - thought I would give a quick update. I email Ivee support and I fought with them to send me two new working Ivees. They did and I am pretty happy now. I am assuming the first batch of Ivees were terrible. The newer batches work. I am getting my Amazon Echo in April, will let folks know how that goes.

good to know, was just about to buy after much debate…