Josh.ai – A Powerful home automation solution with voice control. Now compatible with Sony projectors Posted on May 2, 2019 By Phil Jones For years you have been able to use a voice control assistant like Amazon Alexa to control many A/V products, but you haven’t been able directly to control a projector via voice. Most voice assistants including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri are targeted toward the DIY market. So, while all voice assistants can control some IoT products, that capability was probably added as an afterthought. Amazon Alexa is focused on services and shopping while Google Assistant was designed to provide access to content and information. Side view of the Josh.ai voice control device Josh.ai was designed from the very beginning for home automation. No, you can’t use Josh.ai to order a pizza or Uber but it offers an unmatched level of control and flexibility. For example, Josh.ai allows directly voice control of a Sony consumer projector. Since projectors not smart devices, what you can control is probably limited to things such as power on/off and input switching. You can control the Sony projector using your voice or the well laid out Josh.ai mobile app and can even control it from across the country. Josh.ai is more than just a basic voice control box, it is a complete standalone home automation system. While most IoT devices can be controlled with a dedicated app but the devices usually can’t “see” each other in your home. Since Josh.ai is a home automation system, it is aware of all your IoT devices like your security system, lighting, kitchen appliances, and A/V components. Complicated voices requests can be accomplished 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.” One screen from the Josh.ai app. Yes, you can program routines into an Alexa or Google Assistant in order to perform multiple steps with a single command but compared to Josh.ai the functionality is limited and less customizable. Josh Micro Controller is wall mountable. It can be connected via Wi-Fi or through a wired ethernet connection that can also power the unit via POE. There is also a touch dial on the top of the Josh Micro that can be programmed to initiate an event. For example, you can use a single or double tap to trigger a scene like turning off the entire home or setting the perfect mood for entertaining. While voice is great for turning a device on/off or switching inputs, it can be a cumbersome way to make fine setting adjustments. With Josh.ai you can use voice control to start playing a movie in the theater and then use the touch dial to increase or decrease the volume. For maximum flexibility, Josh.ai can also be integrated with other advanced home automation systems like Crestron, Control4, or SAVANT. This would allow the user to voice control just about any price of A/V equipment via IR, RS232 or even 12volt triggers. You can pick up an Echo dot or a Google Mini for less than $50 but a Josh system is significantly more expensive. There is a hardware cost for the Josh Micro controllers as well as a software licensing cost which is based on the size of the home being automated. Also Josh.ai must be purchased from and installed by a certified CI dealer. So, is Josh.ai worth the price premium? If you just trying to control a single projector or a few lights, there are more cost-effective ways to do it. However, if your system is very complex and you want to control dozens of devices using a centralized voice control system that is fully customizable, Josh.ai may be the right solution for you.