Author Topic: Welp, my house has become sentient.  (Read 165 times)

rcjordan

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Welp, my house has become sentient.
« on: February 11, 2019, 02:22:30 PM »
It was a slippery slope....

(1) Installed the Alexa network.

(2) Installed Ecobee smart thermostats because they had remote sensors. Alexa was on board, but it was a nuisance and not used.  I did name the thermostats by their location; upstairs and downstairs.  Wife controls them by phone app or manually.

(3) Installed Hubitat for smarthome lighting & water control. Later, I activated the Alexa program module which extended voice control to the smart devices.

I knew that Alexa was threaded through all of these systems, but never tried to establish control of the thermostats outside the phone app. (As mentioned elsewhere, the WAF is *high* on these Ecobees and I don't have to do jack with them, so I purposely don't get involved.)

This morning, the upstairs hvac was set on air conditioning from last night.  The temperatures dropped overnight and we needed to switch to heat.  Wife didn't want to get out of bed and was too groggy to open her phone to the app.  I don't have an app see above don't have to do jack  So I just told the bedroom Alexa "Set the upstairs thermostat to heat."  And it did.

That was both awesome and creepy.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:26:40 PM by rcjordan »

Travoli

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 02:30:59 PM »

Drastic

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 10:57:11 PM »
Hah that's pretty cool actually.

What do you get the most use of that you've done so far?

rcjordan

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 11:54:18 PM »
Good question.  I had to mull it over thinking about which I would give up if forced to choose.

We use the Alexa reminders, integrated grocery app skill (OurGroceries), and to-do list skill (ToDoist) the most.  Combined, they are like having a personal secretary.  That'd be what I'd part with last.  Because of the smarthome addition, voice control is already getting moderate use and growing.  It's a handy convenience, but not a must-have.  <added> Louise uses VC a lot more than I do.

Next-most used and popular would be the thermostats and their app.  I'd have to pry the app out of Louise's hand if we were to give those up.

That puts the smarthome stuff last, but we'd sure miss it if it had to go.  A good bit of what it does is automatic and behind the scenes, so we don't think about it --like water heater timers, driveway lighting at sunset, etc.  It just does its thing.  But we've also become accustomed to other features such as lights on when someone enters the room, or controlling lights in distant parts of the house, etc.  The security stuff -exterior lighting, vehicle detection, motion near the front entrance- make us feel like we have more awareness and control of the perimeter and are possibly better prepared.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 11:57:43 PM by rcjordan »

Drastic

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 12:57:48 AM »
Pretty sweet setup there. We just have the list building stuff mainly for shopping and she loves it. We've been doing the grocery delivery/subscription thing, she checked out several of the bigger providers and settled on one so that makes the grocery list easier.

rcjordan

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 12:40:47 AM »
When I emailed my daughter about the house being sentient, she teasingly replied

Quote
It will be even creepier when mom whispers "Brrr. It's chilly in here." And Alexa replies that she's fixing the temperature.

So I tried it.

Holy crap!  "Echo, it's cold in here." works.

It replies "Which thermostat would you like to use?"

When told "upstairs," it replies "OK, I'm increasing the temperature by 2 degrees for 2 hours."

Drastic

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 01:32:38 PM »
When I visit if your Alexa calls anyone Dave I'm out.

rcjordan

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 06:32:21 PM »
>Dave

Ain't that the truth.

I'm not sure I'm ready for a running conversation with my house.

rcjordan

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Re: Welp, my house has become sentient.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 04:04:33 PM »
Dras, if you're getting into VC for devices around the house, AMZ has the Echo Input for $20 (on sale?).  They're Dots without speakers, so no annoying chatter.  Great for places where you just want to control TV, lights, etc.