Additionally to doing things manually or automatically, now you can control and interact with your everyday things using Beecon's new voice commands for the Apple Watch.
Why should I use voice commands if buttons can be pressed and things can be automatic?
In the same way you don't want to play a virtual keyboard with a mouse, voice is useful in specific circumstances:
Sometimes your hands are busy and you simply can't reach your iPhone to open an app to press a sequence of buttons.
A single tap followed by a short voice command can replace the time you take to open different apps and press multiple buttons, especially when you have multiple apps to control different things.
Beecon voice commands also support things that are not supported by Siri and HomeKit, such as infrared appliances, IFTTT actions and much more.
Do more with less taps
Get different things done in different places with multiple actions combined in single voice commands. Save the time you spend opening different apps, walking or pressing different buttons. See some scenarios where voice commands can help you:
To launch Beecon on your Apple Watch without pressing buttons, just enable "Hey Siri" and ask it to launch Beecon when you raise your wrist. To make things even easier, you can also set Beecon to start in voice command mode every time you open it.
The visually impaired can't use graphic interfaces, but they can benefit from voice-controlled homes and working spaces.
There are times you wish you had an extra hand. You can't have that, but a voice-controlled home may help in those moments.
Greasy hands won't prevent you from opening the door for your guests, even when you're busy cooking for them.
Sometimes you just can't move and your hands are busy with something else. Before you climb, bring the light switch on your wrist
Take it to another level. Control your yatch's light & sound system from far away and wet. WiFi has great coverage in open seas.
Grandma can't walk much and she uses the Apple Watch for health monitoring. You bet she'll love how things can be controlled from the sofa.
Important: Beecon's voice commands work independently of Siri and they can only be used when Beecon is open (visible) on your Apple Watch. Voice commands are only available in Beecon+ and they require an Apple Watch paired with an iPhone 5S or above.
Integrate with Api.ai
Api.ai is a platform that empowers mobile and desktop applications with multilingual voice recognition, natural language understanding, and text-to-speech technologies. It allows developers to create intelligent applications and include natural language interfaces in their products.
Api.ai expands Beecon's voice commands with the aid of a personal agent that learns, assists and communicates with you in your own language.
Visit Beecon's Api.ai page to know how Beecon and Api.ai work together.
Try these phrases
Voice commands give you direct access to all your actions, lights, location-based reminders and infrared commands.
Without integrating with Api.ai, Beecon comes ready to understand phrases like the ones below (English only).
Additionally to the native commands above, you can integrate Beecon with Api.ai and further expand your set of commands using multilingual NLP and machine learning.
- Turning on/off a specific Philips Hue/Lux or LIFX lamp
- Turning on/off all available lights
- Combining and executing multiple actions at once
- Scheduling actions with a delay
- Changing/setting the color of a specific Philips Hue, Lux or LIFX lamp
- Changing/setting the color of all available lights
- Calling a previously-saved iBeacon, region or manual action
- Calling a previously-saved infrared command
- Opening or closing a HomeKit door or lock
- Turning a HomeKit switch on/off
- Creating reminders
Tips and tricks
Try giving short and simple names for your actions, regions, infrared commands and lights. Having your Philips or LIFX lights named "Garage", "Sofa" or "Bed" is better than having them called "My garage light" or "Garden light 2". Label everything with one word as much as possible. If you have an action that opens a smart lock, instead of naming it "Open door", save it as "Door". Naming your actions with one word makes your voice commands shorter, faster and more precise.
You can speak names of regions, saved actions, iBeacon actions, lights and names of infrared commands that you have previously saved. If you're having difficulties with a specific word, change your action or light name to something else that your watch can understand more easily.
Combine as many actions, lights or infrared commands as you like by separating them with the words "and" or "then" (only supported in English at this moment). Actions will be executed sequentially and with a short delay between each.
Voice recognition - the more we use it, the better it gets
Voice recognition is just another way of interaction with things. Its biggest advantage over GUIs (Graphic User Interfaces) is the empowerment that artificial intelligence, meanings and even emotions give to it. A keyboard can't tell when keys are pressed calmly or strongly, but just like recent touchscreen technologies that detect your touch's pressure, voice technology (when combined with A.I.) can extract more than simple characters from your voice.
Voice dictation works better for some and may not be suitable for everyone, especially for those who are not English-native speakers and who may find difficulties using it. When it doesn't work, it doesn't mean you don't know how to use it. It simply means the technology isn't perfect yet.
As a direct result of advances in NLP and A.I., voice recognition is getting better rapidly. The things we can do with it are already looking beautiful (Siri in iOS9 being a good example) and accuracy during input and processing stages will rapidly improve as technology evolves.
Get Beecon's latest version at the App Store and start talking to your home.