Making voice announcements & controlling Amazon Alexa Echo


#141

For what it’s worth, I picked up a brand new (2018 model of) Android for $10, and it works perfectly for my ‘stay-at-home’ Android speech alerts.

To be honest, the hard drive is only 8GB, so it was nearly filled after installing a dozen apps, but really all I need is Tasker, a few plugins, SmartThings, a media player, and a few downloaded voices to choose from, so I am not complaining.

Alternatively, some go the route of buying a used Android for a few dollars more.
(with more storage & a faster processor)


For reference, previously, I had been using a Galaxy S4 phone from 2013…
(and it worked flawlessly, until my screen broke, LOL)

I find this a bit ironic because of my previous prediction:

Apparently, an exploding battery is just as detrimental as a hammer. :grin:


#142

Yeah I used to have a Galaxy S5 running Tasker as a bridge to control a Broadlink RM Pro. One day the RM didn’t work. Go to check the phone and the battery didn’t explode (yet) but swelled to the size of a balloon and broke the screen and phone. Haven’t put one back in since then, so if you do this, make sure you check on the phone/tablet every now and then (especially if it’s a Samsung phone :smile: )

Just a thought, but can Tasker run on a PI running an android emulator? This way, no exploding batteries!


#143

This is exactly what happened to my S4… (after six years)

I now put my phone charger on a SmartPlug, so I can toggle power on and off automatically throughout the day. (on 15m, off 45m) This prevents the battery from getting hot.

I also have Tasker programmed to auto-reboot the phone every day at 4am.
(this advance command does not work with all Androids, but it keeps my device quick & snappy)


I don’t see why not… Although you’d also need to install SmartThings as well to send notifications. (and there would likely be a bit of a delay due to the emulator)


#144

a few downloaded voices to choose from

Where do you get the voices from?

Do you set these voices for the tasker app?

Thanks


#145

Depending on your phone, I believe most versions of Androids come with a few “Speech Engines” pre-installed, but it’s only two clicks to grab extra languages. Once they are on the device, they are selectable in Tasker. (the pitch and speed can also be tweaked back in Tasker)

So the Google Text-to-speech engine chooses the dialect and either male or female…
… and then Tasker does the fine tuning (if desired)

Sometimes I create a sample “Task” with a spoken phrase…
(So I have an easy tester to get the voice just the way I like it)

In the Tasker “Say” command, (step 6, line 3), you can click on the highlighted button to see what languages are already on your device:

pic

My new ($10) phone has a list of 40, my previous ($700) phone had only 4 pre-installed…
Go figure. :man_shrugging:


As far as where to get additional voices, I go into a bit more detail in post #4


#146

So I’m confused…with Echo speak I can direct any text (i.e. “temp is 78 outside and the temp inside is 65” to be spoken to any (single or multiple echos)…with this solution it seems that it goes to an Android tablet… what am I missing…how do I get the text to be spoken by the upstairs echo and the basement echo?


#147

The method on this page sends a command to your Android to speak. The spoken voice comes out of the attached speaker. (this is not a whole house solution unless you connect the Android to your Home Theater system)

Of course, you could always send the command:
“® Alexa, broadcast temp is 78 outside and the temp inside is 65”
and it should go to all your Alexas.


#148

thanks for the clarification…so not a solution to target specific echos…


#149

That is true, unless you have more than one Android.


Edit: There are speakers out there that can connect two (or more) speakers to a single Android, but I do not know of any that can change arbitrarily on the fly via command line.

Maybe “designate” one right channel, and one left…
Then playback can be determined via balance slider in Tasker.
(upstairs, downstairs, or both)

Note, Not all Androids will allow a L/R adjustment, although if your alerts always use both speakers, that will not be an issue


#150

The whole concept of this thread is to bypass the (always changing) API limitations in Amazon.
(IE: voice alerts on this page do not require Alexa… Any speaker should work)

With Amazon’s ‘brains’ removed from all of the processing, then all of the logic & intelligence comes from webCoRE & Tasker. (IE: Us, the programmers, LOL)

…but this also means it will continue to work reliably… Even with the new SmartThings platform… Even with dozens of Amazon updates… Even with webCoRE updates…

*lowers voice a bit* … Heck, even with a different Rule Engine entirely…

If the app can send a string in a notification, the voice alerts will just keep on chugging away. :grin:

It is a very nice way to “free yourself” from having to jump thru hoops every X weeks…

For reference, other than playing with various voices, I have not changed any of my Tasker code in the past 28 months, and it has ran like a champ thru all of the various 30+ updates.


Edit, If the app dev ever decides to “rename” his app, you may have to edit step 6 to point to the “new” app.


#151

This would be cool for google home as well.


#152

If there is a Google Home near the speaker, it should accept all commands as well…
(although some commands can be sent via API with Google)


Also, if you have good placement, it works with Siri, and Dragon Naturally Speaking…
(as well as other software or devices that can understand voice commands)

I have even used this method to control a device plugged into The Clapper.
(an experiment to modernize a “Smart” device from the 80’s)


#153

Very interesting. There goes my weekend lol.