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Author Topic: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop  (Read 1019 times)

Bob K

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A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« on: April 08, 2019, 12:09:42 PM »

A virtual Assistant for my workshop

Some very silly questions.  I am considering getting a Virtual Assistant for my workshop.
What do I need, is it manufacturer specific, and do I have to buy additional hardware?
I have a Windows PC running Windows 10.  I have a collection of music on iTunes.  I have an Apple IPhone 8 Plus.
Which system?  Alexa, Siri, etc?   Am I correct in assuming if I want to ask it to play a particular track of music then does it have to be Apple Siri to access my music?
Maybe I can just install an App on my phone, or do I have to buy a Home Hub to make it work.  I understand that if I want it turn lights on for example then a hub with additional light operating hardware is needed.
Can it remotely operate my SKY Q box & LG TV ?

So what do I need?  What can it do, and what extras do I need to buy?  I have trawled the 'net but very little specific information seems available to get me started.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 01:35:52 PM »


Good question Bob!   :-))
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grendel

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 04:29:47 PM »

I think on win10 it just needs turning on or not turning off when you set it up, - ooh plus a microphone thingie. most modern phones do it automatically too.
personally I would plump for a manual version - 18 years old in a bikini. :}
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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 05:19:49 PM »

Put it another way. I could just go out and buy an Amazon Alexa box and software, but risk finding out later that I cannot play music tracks because that is an Apple only system.

Surely someone out there has played with these things?
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ChrisF

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 09:40:31 PM »

I don't know about the assistant that comes with Windows 10 as I've never activated it.

We recently got an  Alexa though for which you need an Amazon account via which you can access plenty of music. You don't need to have your own library of music.

As ours is in the lounge we only make limited use of it as for music I use the hi fi for radio and CD but I could see the benefit of one in the workshop for music

I must spend some time finding out more as regards what Alexa can do but doubt will use it for controlling anything.
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 10:10:25 PM »

Just buy a Bluetooth speaker, and use your Iphone to play your music.
No need for an additional connection.

 :-))

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 10:40:51 PM »

since you want to do all those other things (turn on tv, cable box, lights) as well as play your music, you will need a hub.  since you have an apple phone, and use itunes, the cheapest way you will get everything to work is to buy an appleTV and use that as your hub.  from there, basically look at what is available for use with apple's HomeKit (search for that word: "HomeKit") anything that is compatible with HomeKit will work with the AppleTV.

https://9to5mac.com/2018/09/19/how-to-set-up-apple-tv-ipad-homepod-as-homekit-hub/
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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2019, 12:06:19 PM »

That was an interesting and informative response.  Thank you.
I am now checking into Apple TV systems online
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warspite

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 02:29:37 PM »

personally I would plump for a manual version - 18 years old in a bikini. :}


You need to be a bit more specific - a boy in a bikini is just wrong, unless your a girl of course


and you pay the living wage as a minimum
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Netleyned

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2019, 03:53:39 PM »

There's always one :police: :police: :police:
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Colin Bishop

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2019, 04:36:08 PM »

Remember, if you get Alexa, you may be listening but she will be listening too - and passing on all your secrets... :o
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ChrisF

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 11:34:54 AM »

I've asked Alexa and "she" says that she only listens when you say the wake up word. I must try that on you know who!

When not activated I've mentioned certain cars etc. when near Alexa and none have appeared in ads yet. But do you trust her.........

Chris
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grendel

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 12:21:00 PM »

if she is not listening, how does she hear the wake up word?
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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2019, 12:47:23 PM »

Funny jokes, but this is a serious enquiry  {:-{

If I got an Apple TV package (obviously comes without a TV)  it may be able to access  my iTunes library, and various Apple dedicated appliance controllers, but I doubt if it could interface with my SKY Q box or television.

The only in-home demonstrations I have seen seemed to do little more than tell Christmas cracker quality jokes.

Can I get the system to look up something on Google for instance?
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2019, 12:59:46 PM »

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ChrisF

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2019, 06:17:48 PM »

if she is not listening, how does she hear the wake up word?



Very, very, good point!



That explains, the plain brown envelope that arrived the other day!


Sorry Bob for going off at a tangent.

Chris
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2019, 02:07:44 PM »


BBC: Smart speaker recordings reviewed by humans
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47893082

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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2019, 03:20:39 PM »

If you had one each of the available systems you might be able to listen in to them arguing amongst themselves
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2019, 12:55:36 AM »

 
Hey Bob,

My Amazon Alexa mini turned up today!
( It's the about the size as a fist )


The Good:
Lovely sound,
Plays BBC radio no problem,
Understands voice commands very quickly,

The Bad:
Setup instructions out of date,
Setup not as straight forward as Amazon would have you believe!  >:-o

The Ugly:
Lots of 'privacy' issues (IMHO)  - It needs to know you Amazon, WiFi & phone passwords - and SAVE them to AMAZON!  >>:-()
Only works on mains - NO Battery options!  <:(
Non standard power connector.  >:-o >:-o



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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2019, 02:42:51 PM »

Interesting.  I am currently leaning towards the 2nd generation Amazon Echo Show.  Like the regular Echo but with a screen and more advanced user interface.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaQCM9jr1p8
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Andyn

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2019, 01:14:07 AM »

I have an echo and an echo dot, and honestly I wouldn't be without them now. The echo is set up to be a permanent bluetooth speaker for my pc, and the dot is in the kitchen for radio. I also have a good selection of Alexa controlled lights. It's incredibly easy to come how with an armful of stuff and tell a thing to turn the lights on rather than falling over the dog and dropping everything...


Martin - they come already pre set to your Amazon account if you buy them through prime, which has your address and bank details already, so what's wrong with them also knowing your mother's maiden name and your first born's blood type?
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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2019, 01:32:45 PM »

This might be worth a read for those considering this type of tech, but on a budget.


https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/13/smart-speakers-five-ways-to-get-one-on-the-cheap
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Bob K

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Re: A Virtual Assistant for my workshop
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2019, 09:53:14 AM »

Thanks for all the (serious) advice.
Yesterday I bit the bullet and purchased an Amazon Echo Show with ten inch HD screen, plus a Zigbee compatible light bulb and socket.  Setup was quite straightforward.
I can now enter the workshop saying “Alexa turn workshop light on”, and there was light.
To start with I have the Zigbee socket on my soldering iron station, which I can activate for hands free operation “Alexa turn solder station on”.  I am sure I can find something better for this though.
Just like the SatNav in my car I have someone to argue with when I am on my own.
It can play music on request, give weather and show a limited number of TV channels.
The jokes however are in the realm of cracker quality.
The A.I. quality is better than I thought, but remains basic when asking simple questions, sometimes hilarious in their non-contextual replies.  Eg:  Alexa show me model boat shops near me.  I get three modelling agencies.
Ah well.  Persevere.  More fun than must have though.
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