New VoicePod Speech Recognition Device Enables Hands-Free Home Automation

HouseLogix are launching their new ZigBee Voice Control Device for Home Automation called VoicePod.  It’s a completely hands free system that interprets voice commands and sends appropriate signals to the home automation system using wireless ZigBee technology.

VoicePod can be used to control all the usual HA suspects, including TV, music, thermostats, lighting, shading, security and cameras.  The unit ships with a Control4 driver and can be integrated with other home automation systems to like Crestron, AMX, HAI, Lutron and Savant.

We asked Ted Rosenberger, CEO of HouseLogix about a UK version and he told us, We have not yet adjusted the phonetics for UK accents but this is coming and our “BeSpoke” service is available immediately to produce custom UK-tuned menus for specific projects. A full UK version should be available by the end of 2013.

Meanwhile the US unit will launch next month at around $650.  Check out the video, wall mount image and PR below

HouseLogix, a Pennsylvania-based provider of advanced hardware and software solutions for the automation industry, today announces the release of VoicePod®, its patented, wireless, voice control module for home automation systems.

VoicePod adds both voice recognition and speech output capabilities to home automation systems, such as Control4. Users simply say “Hello VoicePod” from anywhere in a room and then issue speech commands such as “lights bright”, “secure the house”, “good morning” and “listen to music” to initiate control functions. VoicePod’s embedded technology instantly interprets spoken commands and sends appropriate signals to the home automation system using wireless ZigBee™ technology.

VoicePod recognizes an extensive set of speaker-independent speech commands for voice control of TV, music, thermostats, lighting, shading, security, cameras and more. The product provides many handy voice control features that add speed, convenience and safety to everyday living. For example, users can select TV channels simply by speaking a channel’s name. Hands-free control of thermostats is also supported. Users can even ask VoicePod questions such as “what is the house status?”, and VoicePod verbally responds using its built-in speech synthesis technology. VoicePod can speak in response to any event, alerting users to security concerns such as open garage doors or unusual temperatures or weather conditions. In addition, voice commands and responses can easily be customized to meet specialized needs in residential or commercial installations.

VoicePod Wall MountBecause VoicePod is a small wireless module that is only four inches wide, the device may be placed on a tabletop, mounted on a wall, or hidden and connected to a concealed microphone. For large spaces, two or more VoicePods can be placed strategically to provide hands-free control throughout the room. All of the VoicePods in a home wirelessly coordinate with each other to ensure that only the closest VoicePod wakes up when a user speaks. VoicePod’s patented approach greatly simplifies installation and assures reliable and fast responses to every speech command.

“We’ve built a comprehensive Control4 driver for VoicePod that empowers installers and end-users to take full advantage of all of the amazing technology inside the VoicePod,” said Ted Rosenberger, CEO of HouseLogix. “Installers can easily get VoicePod up and running with minimal configuration effort.”

“We have seen the demand for voice control on mobile devices and in automobiles. The next logical step is the home. VoicePod delivers an innovative solution that takes that next step and brings all kinds of exciting speech interaction to home automation,” says Paul Williams, Vice President of Security and Communications Products for Control4.

“Control4’s open architecture and its support of the ZigBee standard is a perfect match for the VoicePod platform,” says Rosenberger. “That’s why we have chosen to focus on the Control4 market for our initial launch.” HouseLogix plans to publish VoicePod’s integration protocol, which will allow other control systems to support VoicePod as well.

“What I’m most proud of with the VoicePod invention is the way it allows speech interaction to become an integral part of everyday living,” adds Rosenberger. “Hands-free voice control and speech feedback are there precisely when you need them but remain invisible the rest of the time.”

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11 Comments on "New VoicePod Speech Recognition Device Enables Hands-Free Home Automation"

  1. That’s interesting – I guess there’s still the big downside to this technology – background noise. I still have whole house microphones connected to an intelligent mixer and VR software. It worked really well when the house was quiet but of course, as soon as there’s any background noise, radio, TV, music etc, the system becomes pretty useless. Can’t see how they can overcome this?

  2. Hadi Esper | April 30, 2013 at 9:33 am |

    Amazing Product! but why no network port or customization TCP/IP or HTTP based integration? That would make the system literary integrate with any home automation system and open up access to DIY HA users.

    Anyone know if there are any plans for this?

  3. Paul – The VoicePod is tightly integrated with the whole home system and has an auto-mute feature. So if you are watching TV, playing music, etc. and say the wake-up phrase (“Hello VoicePod”) whatever audio was playing gets muted until you finish your session with the VoicePod.

  4. Hadi – The current Zigbee VoicePod can be successfully interfaced with most major automation systems through its serial port. And a Wi-Fi version of VoicePod is currently under development and should be available by early 2014.

  5. Sorry, but what it brings more thant a smartphone with android voice or siri or microsoft voice reconigtion?

  6. Alexis – VoicePod is designed for permanent installation in a home. It’s always ready to provide instant voice control in any room of a home without physically touching any buttons or starting an app on your phone. It’s kind of like the difference between dedicated touch screens for home automation vs the phone. The phone is great but less convenient than a dedicated device. Also, VoicePod’s recognition technology is embedded so response time is instantaneous and doesn’t require web access to work. Finally, VoicePod sends signals to your home automation system that allow it to speak over a room’s speakers if desired.

    Nonetheless, our company has an amazing Siri-like VoicePod app under development. Stay tuned for that!

  7. thanks for the answer.

  8. Hadi Esper | May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |

    Thanks for the reply Trish. You have a great product idea going on there! I run a home automation business out of Dubai (Shifra Smart Homes). We would definitely be interested in installing this product in Bulk in our projects. But I would most likely wait for the next version which we can use TCP/IP or HTTP-GET commands to interface with our system (Z-wave). Please keep us continue posting your updates on Automatedhome or contact us directly.

  9. Can the next version have a big red glowing bulb in the middle and call everyone Dave?

    Seriously though, looks neat, my guess is if this can be expandable with an open api or have the ability to be expandable with a custom server add on (completely option able) then this could go places.

  10. Guillaume | July 11, 2013 at 7:52 am |


    I really love your product ! It is revolutionnary !
    When do you think you will have a french version of Voice Pod ?
    Thank yo in advance for your reply.

  11. Can the phrase “Hello VoicePod” be changed?

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