The Control4 Home Automation system has the ability to play audio announcements through the audio outputs on its controllers and speaker points. These announcements can play back any file encoded in a wav format. Traditionally these announcements have been used for doorbells and pre-recorded messages.
Chowmain’s Advanced Announcements driver expands the announcement agent by providing integration with web based text to speech engines. This gives you futuristic dynamically generated voice notifications over your Control4 system without any additional hardware.
The driver also allows you to record your voice via its built in webpage to play through your Control4 system like a PA system. Visit the URL in the properties page for usage.
- Dynamic text to speech generation
- Ability to speak the time
- Ability to speak the date
- Ability to inject variables
- Currently supports 3 text to speech engines with multiple languages, voices, speed and pitch (SpeechUtil.com, VoiceRSS.org, iSpeech.org)
- Ability to record your voice via a web browser for playback through Control4.
- Play Online File command. This helps get around the 10mb Control4 announcement agent restriction by downloading files only on demand only and also allow integrators to implement online or local text to speech services not included in this driver.
This driver utilises 3rd party text to speech web services. If there is a loss of internet service or if the 3rd party text to speech service cancels its services this driver will cease to function. Chowmain cannot guarantee that these services will run indefinately however Chowmain will attempt to source additional web services to add to the driver. Set this driver to auto-update to ensure that any service API changes do not effect the driver.
Can you give us some examples of how we could use this driver?
- Reading out the time and date to the blind eg “the time currently is 10:00am”.
- Notifying you about how many times your phone has rung whilst you were out. eg “Whilst you were out you received 3 phone calls”.
- Notifying you about how many times your doorbell has been pressed whilst you were out. eg “Whilst you were out your doorbell was pressed twice”.
- Notifying you about the weather forecast for the day eg “The weather forecast for today is late showers with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 13 degrees”.
- Notifying you about the current energy usage. eg “Your house is currently using 4.5 kilowatts hours”.
- This driver has the ability to use any variable from within a Control4 system. That means any 3rd party driver variable can be spoken in your announcement. From energy consumption to weather information the uses are endless.
- This driver will be useful for the blind. Getting notifications on their environment will greatly assist with their daily lives.
- This driver has the ability to record audio from HTML5 enabled browsers on Windows, Mac OSX, Linux and Android devices. Use it to send voice recorded PA sytle announcements through Control4 to any connected speaker. Note This has been tested on Mozilla Firefox browser only. Note as of Version 37 it will no longer work with Google Chrome.
What do the voices sound like?
There are so many voices that it is hard to post samples of them all. We recommend you visit the engine websites to give it a try (SpeechUtil.com, VoiceRSS.org, iSpeech.org) prior to installation. Here is one we geneated earlier.
What hardware will this work on?
This will work on any Control4 controller running OS 2.6 or later. Note that the audio output of the controller needs to be connected up to an amplification device such as a receiver.
Why do you only support OS 2.6 and above?
OS 2.6 offers a superior security encryption algorithm and a new and improved driver format. We have decided to only utilise this new format to ensure that the integrity of this driver is not compromised and that we can provide the best dealer/user experience available.
Do you offer showroom discounts?
We offer dealers a free showroom licence for demonstration and educational purposes. See link below for T&C's and signup procedure.
I want to try this driver out before buying it?
All Chowmain drivers for Control4 come with a 90 day trial. Just add the driverCentral licencing driver and this driver and you're good to go. No registration required.
Version #20210119 - 19-JAN-2021
- Updated to new Driver Central licensing
Version #20171113 – 13-NOV-2017
- Fixed issue effecting audio capture from web browser
Version #20170710 – 10-JUL-2017
- Migrated to driverCentral.
Version #20170303 - 03-MAR-2017
- Updated to reflect new chowmain domain
Version #20151102 - 02-NOV-2015
- Resolved issue with Announcment not saving if Debug mode set to log or print and log.
Version #20151023 - 23-OCT-2015
- Made improvements to licencing algorithm. Should resolve issues on OS 2.8 systems with intermittent internet connections.
Version #20150923 - 23-SEP-2015
- Fixed issue effecting OS 2.8.0 systems.
Version #20150818 - 18-AUG-2015
- Made change to URL timeout. Should resolve issues in OS 2.8.0
Version #20150818 - 18-AUG-2015
- Implemented Dealer Demo Licencing
Version #20150407 - 07-APR-2015
- Resolved issue where logs on 2.6 systems would fill out controller storage causing system stability issues. This only effects systems where people have set the debug logs to 'print and log' or 'log' and have forgotten about it over longer periods of time.
Version #20150316- 16-MAR-2015
- Added Play Online File command. This helps get around the 10mb Control4 announcement agent restriction by downloading files only on demand only and also allow integrators to implement online or local text to speech services not included in this driver.
Version #20150217- 17-FEB-2015
- Adjusted Height span of inbuilt webpage for voice recorder. Should fix viewing issues for non mobile devices.
Version #20150212- 12-FEB-2015
- Fixed Issues effecting initialisation of driver.
Version #20141121- 21-NOV-2014
- Implemented Licencing
Version #20141114- 14-NOV-2014
- Changed driver type from c4i to c4z
Version #20140803- 03-AUG-2014
- Major update. Added built in webserver to record from mic (tested on chrome and firefox browsers).
Version #20140610- 10-JUN-2014
- Added Voice RSS API key property.
Version #20140512 - 12-MAY-2014
- Intial Version Released