Smart home solutions and voice assistants have been complementing each other for some time now.
While the former allows homeowners to save money, improve the security of their property and make everyday activities easier and more comfortable, the latter introduced a whole new way of triggering previously prepared scenarios. However, one should keep in mind that voice commands are not limited to activating scenes in a modern fashion – the offered solutions can, in fact, benefit groups that despite the available smart solutions could use a hands-free approach to smart living. This is especially true when your smart home system can talk back and automatically notify you about changes in room temperature, turned on/off home appliances, or a guest who unexpectedly decided to visit you and is waiting at the door.
One of FIBARO advanced users was kind enough to share numerous everyday situations in which his enhanced FIBARO system will notify all householders about every vital aspect of their home. The proud owner admitted that he has been using TTS (Text-To-Speech) solutions for over 5 years now and the overall result only motivates him to seek new ways in which FIBARO could talk back to him.
Laundry Day: a transition between washing and drying laundry
- TTS = “laundry washing has finished. Please move laundry to the dryer.”
- This message will be repeated at least every 15 minutes when a motion in public spaces of the house is detected.
- Once the dryer has started (measured by power consumption) the TTS message is deleted from the system.
Cooking Time: When the cooktop started and the temperature of the smoke detector referenced to the kitchen sensor temperature (>2 Celsius degrees)
- TTS=” cooktop is on, It’s time to place your order”
- TTS=” Gas cooktop is on over one hour”. In case someone forgets to close the cooktop, a warning message will be generated if the cooktop is on for over one hour.
- TTS=” cooktop is off. Enjoy your meal” – When the cooktop is finally switched off
Device status: Always be aware of the status of your devices. If any device is dead (there is no communication) a TTS message with the device name and ID will be announced. There may be various reasons why this happens such as a low battery, or the device being accidentally disconnected from the power supply. If your device is located too far from your gateway and your mesh network fails to provide proper communication then multiple TTS messages ”dead/wakeup” will be announced. This way the user knows that it is time to fix the position of the devices and/or submit a ticket to one’s support team. This solution can be very useful for those who cannot always monitor the devices via UI. Furthermore, once per week a TTS message informs about devices with low battery levels (if e.g. the level is below 15%).
Save energy: It is common (especially for children) to forget to close the freezer. This non- eco-friendly approach can cause damage to the compressor in the long run. A simple TTS message can solve this problem:
- TTS= ”Freezer has been opened” – whenever someone opens the freezer
- TTS= ”Freezer has been closed” – whenever someone closes the freezer
- If the freezer remains open for over 4 minutes, a siren will be activated
It is easy to imagine how presented use cases could facilitate the lives of people with disabilities, elderly people who often live alone, or children who can always use an extra „guardian angel” that will keep an eye on their surroundings.