My House: My Lounge Room

Lounge RoomOver 5 years have passed since my original article on my lounge room. In it, I explained how I had voice controlled most of the entertainment equipment in the room. Using the technology, even in these early stages, made it clear to me that I wanted to continue using voice control into the future, so I continued to pursue it. The system made accessing TV, movies, music and games so much simpler and easier to use. I tell the system what I want it to do and it does it.

Where my setup may have looked primitive 6 years ago; using an 17 year old TV, and even older speakers, these were purely aesthetic and the same principles have now been transferred to a newer home entertainment system. I have since purchased a house and extended it to create my  lounge room as I wanted. All the components I knew would be necessary to make the system work reliably are in place. What I did not see at the time was the range of things this technology would make possible throughout the rest of the home.

While a number of voice controlled systems have come to the market in recent years, I have not found a reason to include them in my system. None of these systems are able to do all the things I want my system to do now, nor cater for me as I delve deeper into the future. To be fair, they are not designed for this purpose.

There are a number of other reasons why my system better suits my needs:

  • The system does not lock me into using certain brands
  • It can be modified to cater for any new features I think of into the future
  • Voice recognition is mostly processed in house so it responds much faster
  • It provides complete privacy as no voice or activity data is sent out of the house
  • Advertising is removed from all entertainment
  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • It works throughout much of the house
  • One command to achieve the majority of tasks
  • Works when the TV is off or when the speakers are at a high volume

There is a lot of technology in use here that I have not seen elsewhere. There are a number of new concepts and products that combine to make an extremely powerful system. This article is a roundup of all the articles I have written about the technology which I have placed in my lounge room. The video below shows what you may be able to achieve in your own home.





By implementing all of the articles below, you are able to achieve a fully voice controlled entertainment system and start putting technology in place for a voice controlled home. Many of the components you will already have such as a TV and a computer. Combining these with a microphone, free software and a bit of patience, you will be able to acheive what I believe to be the most powerful control system that there will be in the foreseeable future.

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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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