For years, I’ve been experimenting to find the most practical way to automate my home. It started with a Linux machine and some custom scripts, then moved onto Domoticz, and for the past few years, I’ve been using Home Assistant.
In my view, there are only two truly practical ways for automating my/A home:
- “Zero touch” automation
- Voice commands
I hardly ever use the web-interface or app – it’s my measure of last resort. If I find that I need to open an app to control anything in my house, I’ve failed! It takes longer to open the app, navigate to the item I need to control, and finally use it than it does to just switch it on/off manually.
I was absolutely chuffed when (voice) Assist was introduced in Home Assistant. In my humble opinion, Voice Assist is the future of Home Assistant and home automation in general. More reason for Home Assistant to hit the ground running with this one!
The integration of (Open)AI is also pretty impressive. It gets many things so right…but admittedly has its off days now and then. I can see where this is headed though and it’s incredibly exciting!
What’s really lacking at the moment is the proper hardware for giving voice commands to Home Assistant. The ESP32 and Raspberry Pi Zero 2W solutions I’ve tested so far just don’t quite make the grade yet. There’s too much latency/delay, and the sound quality is awful at best. Especially when you compare it to “privacy-invading” Voice Assistants like Google Nest Audio, Apple Homepod, Sonos, etc.
Now onto my feature request:
Why not just use the (streaming) media players (speakers) that we already have for text-to-speech and just use an ESP32/i2S or Raspberry Pi Zero for speech-to-text? I’d like to strategically place a solid microphone array in my room and use the existing streaming speaker(s) in that room to play back the messages.
So, my feature request can be summed up as follows:
I’d love the option to separate microphone devices from speaker devices in voice assist so I can issue the command to one (microphone) device and specify to which media player device the notification/message should be played back.
Does this make sense?