Home Automation is booming since many years. With advent of smart phones and touch interfaces, we have moved from using physical switches to using touch / slide based controls from a smart device. However, voice-assistant technologies like Amazon Alexa has revolutionized human-machine interface and has brought convenience to the next level.
So, if you are interested in experiencing the next level of technology, this instructable is right for you. We will discuss how you can control various home appliances that you may have (e.g. TV, cable box, music system, etc) that come with a traditional IR-based remote, through voice commands.
Before we start, here are few things that you will need:
- Amazon Alexa device (Echo, Echo Dot or any other variant will work)
- One or more zmotes (you will need one per room)
That's it. Make sure to have them ready, configured and connected to your home Wi-Fi before proceeding.
Step 1: Signing Up With Eddy Voice Remote
While Alexa understands your voice commands and zmote executes them for you, Eddy Voice Remote service acts as a link between them and gives you options to configure interaction with your devices.
Let's start by creating your account for Eddy Voice Remote.
- Visit https://eddy.tinyelectrons.com and create a Pro account.
- Make sure to validate your email.
The Pro account will not only let you use zmote, it will also let you use multiple of them so you can control your TVs in living room as well as bedroom using voice commands.
Step 2: Add Zmote Controller
After successful login, Eddy will guide you through a setup process. Ignore that and click on the Controllers tab in the top menu.
It may complain that you don;t have any controllers. Well, that what we are going to do now....
Step 3: Associating Zmote With Room
Start adding a new controller and select the zmote tab on the right.
You will be prompted to discover zmotes in your network. Start the discovery ans within few seconds it will automatically show you a list of all your zmotes.
At this time, you can tell Eddy which room each of them is placed in so that Eddy can route your commands to correct one.
Finish the setup by clicking Add Zmotes button.
You can go and modify your zmote/room association any time by going to Controllers tab.
Step 4: Configuring Devices
Now that you have identified which zmote to use for which room, it is time to add your IR-controlled devices for each room.
Click on Devices tab in the main menu to see all your rooms. Click on the + icon to add a new device in a room.
Search for your device in the online database using the Brand and type. In the above image, we searched for Samsung TV.
It is OK if you cannot find an exact match for your device. A close match may also work. Feel free to try different options.
Step 5: Testing Device Configuration
Once your device is added to a room, you can test its buttons from the buttons tab.
Here you can not only test individual buttons, you can also edit corresponding commands manually or learn them dynamically from the real physical remote you may have for your device.
Once you enable Eddy Voice Remote skill in Alexa and link your account with it, you can ask Alexa to press each of these buttons by saying "Alexa, ask Voice Remote to press MUTE button of my TV".
Isn't that cool?
Step 6: Alexa Skill
We are almost there...
Now that you have tested your devices from Eddy's web interface, all you have to do is link your amazon account with Eddy account.
- Sign-in to https://alexa.amazon.com
- Select Skills from the navigation pane on left
- Search for Eddy Voice Remote and enable that skill
- You will need to link your Eddy account, go ahead and do that as well
That's all. Now you are ready to control your devices using your voice.
Your own little Jarvis is ready!