Archive for August, 2011

My House: My Lounge Room 2011

Difficulty: 4

Lounge RoomI spend a great deal of my time in my lounge room as it is the space I use to watch TV, movies and listen to music. It is also the space that I use my computer. I thought about what would make it the ultimate room, looking at both the entertainment features it would include and the simplest way to control it. I wanted to reach the practical limits of what technology can do for us. I came to the conclusion that voice control would always be the simplest way to control anything, so I set about voice controlling all the entertainment gear in the room. I wanted to turn my dreams into a practical reality.

It was a lot of fun figuring out how I would achieve each aspect of the room so that it would work best for me. Now that all of the controls for the rooms’ entertainment are in place, the rewards of using the room are fantastic. I will probably be using this system until the day I die. There is only so much technology can do for us as technology is not magic and it has limitations as to what is practical. Saying that, we can achieve pretty much anything we want using today’s technology in a home environment. You may be surprised at what is possible right now, even with a modest budget of less than AUD$1000.

My setup may look primitive using a 13 year old TV, and even older speakers, but these facets are purely aesthetic and the principles can easily be transferred to newer home entertainment systems. What makes this exciting is that it is very cheap to achieve if you are willing to do a bit of DIY. I am not sure if this will ever be possible if you are not willing to install some software and spend some time setting things up. This stuff is not available on the market yet, and if it does make it to market, it is likely to cost a lot more than it should. As with all computer systems, a restart once a week is normally all that is needed to revive the system in the case that it encounters a problem. This system has made watching TV and movies, and listening to music to be much simpler and more relaxing. I simply tell the system what I want it to do.

This article is a roundup of all the articles I have written about the technology I have placed in my Lounge Room. The video below shows what you can achieve in your own home over time on a very limited budget. This system does much more than the current range of smart TV’s. Take a look.

 

By combining all of the articles below, you can achieve a fully voice controlled entertainment system on a limited budget. All you need to do is plug a few things in, install some software, train yourself to use the system, and train the system to understand you. With a bit of patience and some simple tweaking, you will reach what I believe to be the practical limits of technology for home entertainment use.

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