Text to Speech in Home Automation

Using Text to Speech (TTS) in home automation can offer some real benefits to creating a more relaxed environment that doesn’t have just doorbells, sirens, and alert sounds as options. And you can set Text to Speech up on your Hubitat Elevation.

You can think of Text to Speech as audible notifications customized to the automation sequences you set up for yourself and your family or roommates or guests. Let’s take a look at some examples of using Text to Speech in your home automation sequences:

Pet Training:

You can set up a smart mat that will detect when your dog has jumped on the bed and then trigger a speech command to let them know that’s not ok.

Pet Communication:

Teach your dog to step on a pressure mat to let you know when it’s time for them to go out – and have a speech notification: “Spot would like to go outside right now.” One of our employees has this set up and loves it!

Good Morning:

You can set up a notification to let you know first thing in the morning that your coffee is ready, what the weather will be like, and if your kids are up — or anything else you might want. The notification would be a spoken messages like: “Good morning, your coffee is ready”. “The weather today is 62 degrees and cloudy with rain expected in the afternoon”.  “Johnny is up and moving around in his bedroom.” Much nicer than the usual buzzer or even music – or just add to what you’ve already got set up.

Good Night Security:

Set up a speech notification that lets you know your home is all secure for the night: “Good night – all the doors are locked, the lights are set for nighttime, and the garage door is closed.”

Heat or Air-Conditioning Setup:

You might want to know if a window or door is open when the heat or air conditioning come on – so you’re not heating or cooling your neighborhood as well as your house. Set up a speech notification to let you know: “Your heat is on and Johnny’s window is open.”

Doorbell:

Instead of hearing the doorbell ringing, switch that to a spoken notification that’s easier for you to hear anywhere in the house (and also won’t trigger your dog to bark – another pet automation).

Announcements:

All those little sounds that fill up your home can be converted into spoken announcements so you don’t have to remember what each means. Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of a chime indicating a door opening and closing, let your family know when you’re leaving the house with a notification something like: “Tom has left the building.” Nothing like a little fun along with better family communication.
  • When your laundry is done in the washer, set up a spoken notification so you know it’s time to move it to the dryer, or hang it up: “The washing machine has finished this load.”
  • If you’ve accidentally left the garage door open, set up your notification to let you know: “The garage door is still open.” You could even include instructions in your Text to Speech notification if you have a home automation button set up in the house to close it.
  • During the night you might want to know if there’s motion in the hallway, maybe on a pressure mat. We support custom volume for Text to Speech so you can set up a notification that speaks to you in a low volume only in your bedroom: “Someone is moving around in your hallway.” Then you can decide if you want to check or maybe just lock the door to your room if you’re the only one home.

Alarms and Sirens Replacement:

You can now replace every one of those safety notifications with speech so you know exactly what’s going on. Instead of sirens and alarms, set up announcement notifications like: “Water is leaking under the kids’ bathroom sink.” Or “Smoke is detected in the basement.” Or “Carbon monoxide is detected in the family room.”

Slumber Parties:

Here’s one that another Hubitat employee has set up: if the motion is detected where all the kids are hanging out at the slumber party and it’s 3am, set up an announcement for that room that says “Time to go to sleep now—you can have fun together again tomorrow.”  You could also trigger this remotely when traveling, via Hubitat Dashboard.

Alexa Integration:

One more neat Text to Speech application is to use Alexa to trigger an automation via a virtual switch, but then play the audio anywhere in rooms that have motion detected or where the lights are on. So the response isn’t just coming from Alexa, but playing wherever you have speakers in your home: whole home responses.

Share How You're Using Text to Speech in Home Automations

We’re sure you can think of some fun ways to use this new feature of Text to Speech in your home automations. Let us know what you set up on one of our social sites – we’d love to hear it! 

Visit our community discussion https://community.hubitat.com/t/how-do-you-use-tts/1733 and see how our customers are using Text to Speech (TTS).

May 10