Machine builder wants voice-controlled machines and devices #voicecontrol

Integration of smart speakers with a home automation functionality

Consumers are now increasingly using voice control, for example when operating home automation applications at home. E.D.&A. is therefore seeing the demand for voice control increase among its customers and their end users. In other words, this means the integration of smart speakers. Smart speakers are speakers that also have a microphone, through which you can issue voice commands. The best-known examples are currently Google Home, Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Siri (Apple).

These are, as it were, personal assistants of which you can ask general questions such as “Is there a traffic jam on the way to work?” or “Is it going to rain?”. The speaker, which is connected to the internet, searches for the answer and a voice reads it out. In addition, you can also give these devices a kind of home automation functionality, which is the most promising aspect for machine and appliance builders. Ever more devices are coming on to the market that you can connect to the smart speaker to operate them in this way. This is why the demand from machine and device manufacturers is rising to link their applications as well.

Voice-controlled commands operate machines and devices. Test it for yourself!

The smart speaker first always sends the voice command to the cloud, meaning a web server somewhere on the internet. That server knows which machines or devices are linked to the speaker and what possibilities they support. It decodes the voice commands and converts them into commands. These commands are then returned to the correct appliance via the internet in order to execute the command. The result of all this is that you can now issue commands such as “Hey Google, make the lamp light up green” or “Alexa, turn on the fan” and see the result on the demo set-up. Google Home and Amazon Alexa also have a smartphone app. In that app you also see the connected devices, so that you can operate all these things via your smartphone as well.

Test our voice-controlled demo for yourself!

To visualise and test the principle, we built a demo set-up with several RGB LEDs, a few relays and a fan, as well as a smart speaker. We equipped our electronic controller with software to operate, in this case, a fan (on/off) and lighting (on/off, dim). An important point in this regard is the way in which our electronic controller tells the cloud what it supports and also how it is secured, so that nobody else can send commands to the electronic controller.

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