But I have literally everything that this is doing already set up in my home right now using an Amazon Echo, which is $200, instead of $10,000.
I can say "Trigger lights for projector", and lights dim how I want it. Or "Trigger lights for guests" and bing, lights. I can say "Play my Lumineers station on Pandora", and my Echo will play it. And of course I can ask Echo all kinds of things like "What is the distance to the moon?" or "What is the population of India?"
Plus a lot more.
So what is the value add here? How is this different/better than Echo + IFTT + a Wink hub? I'm really genuinely curious, because this is something I am doing right now and am totally willing to spend money on to do better, but based on this short video I have no idea how this is better...
So I guess take that as constructive feedback from (presumably?) your target audience -- show me something really cool this does to get me to consider spending $10k on it.
We're also focused as much on home monitoring and access when you're away from the home as we are on control from within. It might seem subtle, but the number of times you want eyes and ears and the ability to change the environment of your home when away is super important.
The longer term play which will take some time to realize is all about AI. We see Josh as an invisible companion that grows with you, understands natural language, and can interact with the connected devices around you.
average home owner
Seems like you're targeting multimillionaires. Just looking at the Portland metro area (nowhere near the largest target market), there are about 6 homes currently for sale that are over 10k sqft. Ranging from 1.5M way out in the burbs to 8M+. It's likely going to need quite a lot of polish to have a large uptick for such a small total audience.
Of course that's a pretty small audience, so there you go. "Sell to the classes, eat with the masses", as they say...
A couple years ago in my dorm, I set up a clapper and set up a server to play my music when I was out of my dorm, so that when I was coming home I could play the sound of the clapper to get my lights started. Or if I was in my room's WiFi network, I could ask Siri to play "Turn on the Lights", and it would play an MP3 of me clapping and turn on the lights. This is obviously way cooler, and I always thought I'd one day sit and hack out something like this with Wit.ai or something. What are your plans for this?
* just a note, we are working with an official private Sonos API, it's just hard to get access if you're starting out tinkering.
Props for having a go at making this a company, I tried to do this with ninjablocks.com best of luck!
Happy to share lessons learned.
AFAICT, there is nothing here that we can play with and this should not be Show HN post.
I don't buy the argument that "sometimes a presentation is the only viable option." In this case and any other, the viable option is to keep working on the product until it's ready for people to test.
I mean this as a neutral question, because it's cool either way, and does seem like a bizarre little hole in the current "voice control" ecosystem, but there's a difference in what I, at least as an HN reader, expect between the two things, and I wanted to give you that feedback.
Incidentally, I just complained in another post about the way that needing to "invoke" voice mode makes it much less fluent. You may at least want to pop that one on to the mental back burner to see if there's a solution you can think of for it. I don't know what, but something that makes the friction of invoking a voice app less would help a lot. (I assume this is where Amazon Echo idea comes from.)
1. A number of early customers we've spoken with don't like the idea of an always listening device. The perception is an invasion of privacy.
2. There's a fear that someone outside the home could simply yell a command like "unlock the doors" to gain access. There are a number of ways one could solve this, but it's a fear we've heard about.
So the extra friction of taking out your phone and pressing a button so far seems worth the added layer of privacy and security, but we're definitely thinking hard about this one.
> One of the challenges to building a fully automated house, particularly one that grows and evolves over time, is the ability to program with ease. In theory it’s great if your sprinklers turn off when it rains, or if the lights go on at sunset, but these actions today take a skilled programmer many hours to assemble. [...] Even complicated queries can be effortlessly programmed, such as, “At sunrise if I’m home slowly fade the bedroom lights on, open the drapes, turn on the radio, and brew a pot of coffee.”
That's interesting, yeah. I mean I spent a few hours recently building a little script that makes my apartment's foyer light change based on the temperature and weather during the day, and go to a dim red at night, and I really wish it was a simpler process than "kludging together a Python script".
If you've got any of that kind of stuff up and running, you should be linking to that, not to a video that is essentially nothing you can't replicate with Siri and a light system that registers with HomeKit, or Echo, Cortana, or Google Now with similar plugins.
Also is there supposed to be any actual lists of brands of connected devices in the 'works with' page? All I see is greyscale photos of various anonymous devices with a word or two and an icon superimposed on them. It works with "LIGHTING" and "OUTDOORS" and "SECURITY", great, does it work with my lighting or outdoors or security?
Also: If the product is named "Josh", why is its default voice female? Has "Josh" shifted from a male-coded name to a female-coded one when I wasn't looking? Or is your product intended to present as a transman who really needs to work on his voice?
Website: we have a new website launching soon with a lot more information. You stumbled upon a page I hope to finish building today. Sorry for the confusion.
"Voice programming": We chose to focus on getting a product to market and proving customer demand before building out the entire developer portal. It's definitely the plan and we want to do it, it's just not where we see early revenue coming from and as a small team we have to pick our battles. I can't wait to open this stuff up when ready.
EDIT: Actually, the reservation, which is "50%", is $5,000. Is it $10,000?
You may wish to find some way to clarify that market segment in your marketing, I think a lot of HN visitors might assume this is going to be a $99 hub or something similar. We need to see that value represented, because we are definitely going to dig up that price tag. ;D
Add in control of individual outlets, motion sensing, thermal controls, security ... it adds up pretty quick, even for homes of the "middle class".
- My name is Josh, I like the name.
- I've been looking for a nice short domain. Thanks for taking a cool one. :P
There is a reason names like "Siri" and "Cortana" were chosen (though I'll grant you "Alexa" is a reasonably common name as well).