Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A quick and simple video show how my system is setup to return from triggered events with one voice command.

When something triggers a senor 

Need to add more here

I have motion and contact sensors about the placed about the place. Mainly Dakota and Z-wave. In some cases I use the camera itself as a motion sensor.  They are tied into my Homeseer home automation. When one of those sensors is triggered it does API calls to the related Blue Iris server(s) to trigger to associated cam group which marks the video and highlights those cams on the  console. At the same time, depending on alert and alarm level it tells a Harmony hub to set an HDMI switch the main video feed to the video from the console the triggered cams are on and restarts a timer for that console. Sending a pause to the current source if need be. This also triggers a verbal alert, using Homeseer's built in system, if the alarm is in home mode or if armed, depending on assigned alert levels and alarm level, it uses Push Bullet it send and alert to all connected phones and browsers and or a verbal notification. Some lights might also be turned on. The cameras can of course be viewed remotely via the Blue Iris app or its web server. For security you'll want to set up a VPN to simulate accessing it from the local network but it can also be configured with dynamic DNS to be viewable direct.

Once a console timer reaches 10 minutes it stops the timer, resets the console to "all cameras" and turns off associated lights if on. When all console timers have stopped it triggers the "video on" routine.

If I see it is nothing I can reset simply "video on" command.

Warning: Alexa voice control in audio may trip your Echo so you might want to mute your Echo's mic.

The video starts with the UPS box high alert (high switches main video while low only highlights camera group on console) triggered triggered so the south cam console (main and console above main on left) has been swapped to the main screen.
The central cam server (far right) has been manually triggered to show the shop deck.
And the internal cams server (far left) has been triggered to show the living room cams.
Once I give the command "turn on video" you can see the consoles all go back to showing all cams and the main screen goes back to showing video from my workstation (the current site wide stream). If the main video had been a playable source it would have also sent the appropriate play command to the device to restart the video.

Note the internal cams server (far left) gets triggered to show the barn just before it receives the command to return to showing all cams.

How it is done:

  • To do this Alexa "turns on" a virtual "video" Homeseer device. (This is also triggered after no new event has been seen for a few minutes.)
  • That device triggers a Homeseer event
  • Homeseer announces the "video on" event is running
  • The event signals each Blue Iris console to to show the "all" group of cameras.
  • It then sends the Harmony pointed at the AV rack to switch the camera switch back to main (input 1) video.
  • It then "turns on" another virtual Homeseer "play" device.
  • It turns off the virtual "video" Homeseer device
  • That "play" device being on and the setting of the current Harmony activity triggers a an event that matches.
  • Homeseer announces which device it is sending play to.
  • That event tells Harmony to send the appropriate play command to the device to restart the video.
  • Lastly after a minute the "video on" event turns off the virtual Homeseer "play" device
Sounds a lot more complicated that it is. The toughest part is sending the highlight commands to Blue Iris but I have a script to do that for you.