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Show HN: Control IKEA Lights Using Google Home and IFTTT (github.com)
71 points by pretty_bubbles 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments



I don't mean to diminish the work done here, but I can't bring myself to use any home automation that relies on internet and 3rd party services. The whole "I can't turn off my lights/adjust my thermostat/close my garage door because the internet is down" is a cliche these days, but also reality when you use services like these.

There's a difference between core and nice to have services (eg, ability to tell you the weather), but I consider light, door, and temperature control to be "core": having a dozen separate points of failure is just bad design. You could consider voice control nice-to-have, but if it works well, I have a feeling it would move to being core. If it doesn't work well enough to be used all the time (and thus irritatingly missed when it's broken), why bother?

I'm aware of Mycroft; anyone have experience with it or alternatives?


Hi! I'm the co-founder of https://snips.ai and we build a 100% on-device Voice AI platform.

The ASR and NLU are running on a Raspberry Pi 3, and best of all it is free and we are open-sourcing it, starting with the NLU https://github.com/snipsco/snips-nlu

https://medium.com/snips-ai/snips-nlu-is-an-open-source-priv...

The whole platform runs on-device which makes it ideal for privacy, cost, and to allow it to run when there is no network

We are available in English, French, German, and soon Japanese and Korean, with more European languages coming!

We would love to see what you can build with it, and linking it to Ikea lights should be 10 lines of Python

Take a look at what some people have built with it: https://github.com/snipsco/awesome-snips

and a few tutorials to get you started: https://medium.com/snips-ai/building-a-voice-controlled-home...


Is there any way to help you with Euro languages? I'd gladly help you with Czech, it's hard to get right.


We will be working on this too, probably this year


The IKEA lights that the article talks about have remotes [1] that work independently of the smart home gateway.

[1] http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20303317/


Every smart bulb I've seen has a fallback where toggling the light switch turns it on, even if the software state was off.

3rd party services going away is a legitimate concern, but that's true of basically every piece of technology these days.


People seem to miss that Hue and Tradfri both have local APIs too (http and CoAP based), they work without an Internet connection. The bulbs themselves are ZHA compatible as well, you can pair them with your own controllers instead of the gateway.


You sound like an old man decrying escalators because you won’t rely on any means of transportation that requires electricity to function.... escalators without electricity are just stairs, IKEA lights controlled through google home without internet are just lightbulbs controlled by the wireless switch. Just like your google home without internet is just a wireless speaker. In all cases it’s just nice features that are super pleasant to use in practice and preople just don’t know how nice it feels to have them until the experience them for themselves.


I guess if it doesn’t work for you, you should skip the thread so as not to drown out the effort.

Someday someone might come along and build the thing you want. Perhaps they will build on this project.


His criticism is reasonable. There is a line between valuable criticism and pointless negativity. The latter deserves the “if you don’t like it, go away” response. The former does not. The line is fuzzy, so err on the side of leniency.

Now, if there is a flaw in the criticism, address that, not the mere fact that it is criticism.


It’s like people who jump in an a discussion about electric vehicles then filling the comments with “I won’t buy one until the range increases“. Their criticism is also legitimate.

People should simply realize the product isn’t for them.


That’s also a reasonable response and if I had a conversation about EVs with a large group of friends, I would expect one of them to make that comment. I would not expect the person with that sentiment to simply walk away rather than engage.


But everyone already knows they have limited range. You aren’t adding to the online conversation. You aren’t going to change anything.

Often in long conversations, people chime in without reading the conversation and several people make the same “observation”.

In this conversation, we know there are downsides to cloud-based voice recognition. Telling someone who built it that it’s not for you, doesn’t add any value.


> But everyone already knows they have limited range. You aren’t adding to the online conversation. You aren’t going to change anything.

Realistically everything in this hypothetical conversation will be things that “everyone” knows. Unless you’re discussing confidential info about EVs, everything is by definition public knowledge and probably even common knowledge. Most conversations are about opinions rather than facts.

Is the guy who comments about EVs having all their torque available from a standstill also adding nothing to the conversation? What about the guy who mentions the environmental friendliness? Or the one who mentions the environmental costs of lithium mining? Who is really adding to the conversation here?

> In this conversation, we know there are downsides to cloud-based voice recognition. Telling someone who built it that it’s not for you, doesn’t add any value.

And yet it’s the top comment and the top reply provides info about a platform that doesn’t have the same drawback. I think this is pretty clearly value added.


When you read the comment about short range and the environmental impact of the batteries, they’re often highly upvoted by people that dislike electric vehicles too.

So, my point about someone drowning out someone’s project is proven by the top-rated comment about how it doesn’t work for them.


So you’re just going to pretend that the top comment doesn’t have a useful and relevant reply?



Yes. I don’t know if Snips is any good but it seems extremely relevant and the “I won’t use remote automation” comment led clearly to the posting of Snips in this conversation.

Putting aside Snips for a moment, my point with my last comment was to note that you took the “upvotes aren’t a meaningful indicator” tangent and ignored the rest of the reply. You ignored the fact that the criticism led to a meaningful reply and did in fact contribute to the conversation. You also ignored my questions about what constitutes actual contributions to a conversation. Is it just positivity? Because most of the positive stuff people post is still not new and it seems unreasonable to me to claim that criticism is at heart not contributing to the conversation while fanboyism is.


Hey, good for the Snips developer to get another chance to promote his project again.

Hopefully, both projects get a few more people involved.


Hope so


And yet there are people commenting further down with on-device voice products that exist now.

I wasn't interested in a product that has to report to the NSA that I turned my lights on, and I didn't know about those...

So I'm happy that this comment thread is not the echo chamber you desire.


In addition to the peer response, notice the GP comment is (at least currently) top-ranked. They're not alone.


The problem with this type of system is that the primary benefit is outnumbered by at least two unwanted detriments.

The primary benefit is that remote control can be effective from around the world and outer space.

This is countered by the reality that your command might get bounced off a satellite, even if you’re across the room from the device you’re controlling remotely.

The converse additional problem is that you could be standing next to a device on the north pole, and someone from antarctica could override you.

We haven’t become sophisticated enough about this level of remote control yet, to mitigate these undesirable side effects of extended range remoting via internet tunnels.


One of the most amazing things about TRÅDFRI is that it’s actually well-designed. The software is minimalistic, and designed for security by default, it’s fault-tolerant, and it’s local by default.

A massive contrast to the silicon-valley node.js on each lightbulb products, reliant on cloud servers, with analytics everywhere; or the cheap chinese unsecured lightbulbs that are just days after purchase infected with Mirai.

A welcome change, indeed.


I agree. I also really appreciate the build quality in the remote.

I am a bit disappointed by their slowness in supporting Google Home by default - hence my project. It would be a lot better if they actually open-sourced the code for the gateway.


How's the responsiveness/latency? I have a Hue setup with the old circular bridge and can't stand how unpredictable the delay is between sending a command and the lights responding.


Nice. I use Home Assistant for my Home Automation setup. https://home-assistant.io/

[Over 1,000 components](https://home-assistant.io/components/) are available with more added daily, including [IKEA Tradfri lights](https://home-assistant.io/components/tradfri/).

My Home Assistant config files can be found at https://github.com/brianjking/homeassistant-config if you're interested.

Cheers!


If you are using Home Assistant and you want a free, open-source and 100% on-device solution to build a Voice AI you can take a look at what we build at Snips https://snips.ai

You can build your Voice AI in English, French, German, and soon Japanese and Korean, with more European languages coming

It runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 and will be 100% free for makers


Perhaps I didn't search well enough, but is there a way to buy a ready-made snips device? Like I would buy an Amazon Echo?

I'd be keen to use something like Snips instead of Alexa, but I'm not too sure I have the time and energy to solder things, or even just attach wires to some connector... Or even just figure out which part to order from where... And I already have a pi3 running Home Assistant.

To me this is the biggest barrier of entry.

The 2nd one (which is the same pretty much), is convincing my wife to replace this thing[0] with this thing[1], and also preventing my 4 year old from messing with the wires...

[0] http://d2ydh70d4b5xgv.cloudfront.net/images/e/1/new-echo-dot...

[1] https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/660238369_640.jpg

(please don't take it the wrong way, I really want Snips to win over proprietary cloud-based solutions)


We are working on this! You can buy any Raspberry Pi 3 and we have tutorials to show common hardware to use, but soon there will be a maker kit you can get from us too!

We recommend a Raspberry Pi 3 and a ReSpeaker2 microphone there is a list of materials you can find on this blog post, and please subscribe to our newsletter to learn about the kit

https://medium.com/snips-ai/building-a-voice-controlled-home...


That's really cool.

With the way voice assistants work these days (memorize these sentences, when you say them stuff will happen) along with the fact that people only use a few functions of their voice activated products, it makes a lot of sense to be able to pick and choose which commands to enable.

It also has the added benefit of being local/private/on-device.

I will definitely be using this for a project or two.


Awesome, we would love to see what you make with it, come see us on our Discord channel to talk and ask any question you have, and if you are using it in your home or to build cool interactions we would love to feature it on our site!


That's cool. I mostly wanted a quick REST API to use with IFTTT, without a ton of dependencies. Home Assistant looks interesting. Maybe I'll give it a try sometimes.


It's really easy to setup with a multitude of methods of setting it up. Several installation methods for Raspberry Pi, Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.


Home Assistant can even replace IFTTT for certain tasks with it's "automations"

Bonus: everything runs locally without having to trust IFTTT


I'm currently rely on Google Home which allows me to remotely control things away from home. What are my options when I switch to Home Assistant? Can I still control things using Google Assistant? Can I still remotely control things without VPN back home?


Yea, I can access Home Assistant away from home via my web browser. I have NGINX setup which allows me to connect to Home Assistant running on my Raspberry Pi. Home Assistant is setup with password protection along with fail2ban as well.

You can also set it up with a hidden Tor address, VPN, no remote access, Apache proxy access, etc.

I also utilize Google Home & Amazon Echo Dots which are integrated into Home Assistant. LIFX & Z-Wave for lights, door sensors, motion sensors, etc.

You can check out my configuration here: https://github.com/brianjking/homeassistant-config


This is super cool! To be honest, I think the easier way to do this is using the Hue Hub, which can connect to Tradfi AND integrates directly with Google Home


Or just use a Hue hub




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