Voice control of KNX, is it worth it?
I think we all expect a lot of products in our home and even our home itself to be voice controlled eventually, but is it a realistic option for KNX integrators to include in their projects right now?
Anyone who has played around with Alexa will know that voice control is now good enough. It also has very high levels of recognition in the market place, your customer's children will already be familiar with Alexa. I was astounded when we finally added Alexa to our KNX home installation that our 2 girls not only knew what Alexa was but knew exactly what to do with her, it turns out most of their friends had one already. For their generation it is not technology or even a voice control system, it's just a new fun way of doing stuff and a blindingly obvious one at that.
This hints at the problem for KNX integrators, Alexa is already out there in your customer's lives, so how can you extend the use of Alexa and turn it into a real tool to control KNX homes? It's difficult because as with most consumer lead technologies, integrating them into a fully programmed KNX home requires a lot of work and you end up needing to charge your customer many multiples of the cost of Alexa, just to get it to do something which it appears should be possible straight out of the box.
There is now a perfect solution, Voxior. If your project includes either a Gira Home Server of Gira X1 then adding Alexa really is a doddle. Voxior is a cloud service that links your customer's Alexa account with a programmed device such as a Gira Home Server. It is incredibly simple to setup and is designed so you can quickly realise voice control without needing to complete additional programming.
That being said the real value in the solution is achieved when voice integration is specified from the beginning of a project. You can then create specific scenes or sequences just for voice control and because this is done in conjunction with the usual programming the cost will still be low.
With the solution being so easy to implement, it is now worth recommending this for all future projects and to all your previous Home Server and X1 installations too.
Voice control is here and it is worth it.