At Josh.ai, we wanted the Control4 integration and setup to be easy, intuitive, and fast-moving. Once you have your Josh.ai and Control4 systems online, you can get them integrated and working in harmony together. The setup process streamlines installations and avoids having to reprogram the same events Josh and Control4 separately.
In our previous blog, we went over the features, benefits, and general integration of Josh.ai and Control4. This blog post will be more geared towards the technical setup and advanced configuration of Josh.ai + Control4.
Setting up Josh.ai and Control4
Say goodbye to the days of long, complex programming to achieve simple results. The integration with Control4 enables an integrator to instantly pull in all rooms, AV configurations, lights, and shades. We avoid most downfalls of a smart home system by simplifying the setup process and reducing on-sight visits dramatically. Here is how the setup process works:
1. You will need a Control4 processor online and configured in the home. Next, you will need a Josh system.
2. Before you plug in the Josh system, you’ll want to add the driver into your Composer Pro project. To do that, you can go to the dealer resources page to download the latest driver. If you are not currently a Josh.ai dealer, check out this page for more information.
3. Once you have the driver downloaded and installed, you’ll want to plug in the Josh server to power and network.
4. After that, go to josh.ai/portal, and navigate to the building you are setting the Josh server up on.
5. Rooms and Devices- You will see that Josh has pulled in the room names, device types, and names from Control4, and they are ready to be used. Devices like lights, shades, and thermostats will automatically assign to the correct rooms based on the Control4 project. This is what cuts down programming time, simplifies installs, and allows you, the integrator, to focus on other requests from the homeowner. It truly is a win-win for everyone involved.
6. Audio/Video- Josh will automatically detect any Control4 rooms in your project with audio or video sources available to them. Josh will then create the corresponding Josh AV Rooms as long as they are not hidden in that room’s navigator. Josh will only create devices that are available in the room’s Control4 navigator. The only configuration step required to get your AV Rooms up and running is to match Josh-controlled devices with sources in your project. Josh pulls in all sources from the Control4 navigators. If a source is visible in three rooms in Composer, Josh will see that source and route it to those three specific rooms.
7. Deep-Link- In addition to Josh controlling devices through Control4, Josh also controls devices natively. Devices like Sonos, Roku, and Pandora can all be directly controlled through Josh. This enables Josh to “deep-link” with these sources. Deep-linking is essentially Josh’s way of scanning through these devices and controlling them. It gives Josh the ability to pull up specific songs, genres, and artists off Sonos or a specific TV show off Netflix on a Roku. For these devices, we will need to go into the Settings page. From here, click “Auth Devices.” This is where you will authorize these individual devices to be controlled by Josh. This step may not always be applicable, but it is for certain devices like the few examples given.
Now you are ready to give Josh commands in natural language. Without any programming, commands like “turn on the lights, play some music, and watch a 4K ski video on YouTube” are all available from this point.
Natural Language + Locational Awareness
In addition to natural language commands, Josh also features locational awareness that allows Josh to know exactly what room the Micro is located in. This means a user can give a simple command like “turn on the lights,” and Josh will not require a specific room name or set of lights. “Turn on the lights” will turn on the lights in the room you are speaking to Josh, instead of having to specify “turn on the lights in the living room.”
Here is a quick video with Josh CEO Alex Capecelatro showcasing Josh’s locational awareness. Check it out!
On top of controlling these devices in natural language, you can also set many nicknames or “aliases” for devices, rooms, and scenes. Aliases are incredibly powerful and a central component of Josh.ai.
Some family members might call the “living room,” the “family room,” the “media room,” or the “great room.” Instead of having family members and guests memorize each of these room names, devices, and scenes, we encourage our integrators to set custom aliases to make voice control accessible to everyone in the home. We can go into the portal and set the alias for the living room to “family room,” “media room,” and “great room.” This enables “turn on the media/great/family room lights” to function the same as “turn on the living room lights.”
You can also set aliases within devices for the same reasons. One person may call a set of lights the “overhead lights,” while another may call them “recessed lights.” Setting aliases allows for incredible flexibility and customization to the client’s needs.
Scenes are a way to control and automate multiple devices in a home automation system at once. Within Josh, you can create custom scenes to control various devices and rooms triggered with a single phrase.
In terms of Josh.ai and Control4 scenes, there are some devices that Josh can not directly control. For these devices, you can create “Control4 Scenes” within Josh. This will enable you to use Josh to trigger any number of events programmed with Control4 Composer. The possibilities are endless with this integration.
Control4 Scenes Setup Through Josh.ai
- Navigate to josh.ai/portal, click on the Scenes tab, and then on the bottom left, click “add a scene.” Give the scene a name, and you are ready to configure it.
- Select the “TRIGGERS” option. Here you’ll want to add a couple of voice triggers to enable a broader set of keywords to activate the scene. By clicking on “TRIGGERS”, you’ll get a drop-down menu to add multiple keywords and phrases to activate the scene. These are essentially the aliases for the scene. You can set as many triggers as needed, and they will all activate this scene.
- From here, select the settings icon in the top left, and you’ll see an expanded menu appear. Then, click “scene type,” and from the drop-down menu, select Control4.
- After choosing the scene type, you’ll need to assign the scene an event ID. You’re able to give any number between 1–999. You’ll use this event ID in Composer Pro to tie it back to a device or scene in C4 you want to trigger. Below is a picture showing what this Control4 scene will look like within the Josh portal.
- In Composer, you will navigate to the Josh driver in the programming tab. This is where you will be able to set what these scenes do in Control4. You can also copy a previously used programming script and paste it into this section.
Control4 Scenes through Josh can be used for controlling devices that Josh does not directly control. In addition, suppose you already have the bulk of the scenes programmed in Control4. In that case, you can set up these Control4 scenes in the Josh portal, add voice triggers, and then link them directly to a scene or macro that was previously programmed in Control4. This is another way to save time and resources on an installation.
This article was written by Joe at Josh.ai, where he focuses on Technical Support. He recently joined the team with a Control4 integrator background and has a passion for the smart home industry. He also enjoys martial arts, traveling, and dogs in his free time!