“Josh.ai is not just an add-on voice component like Amazon Alexa, it is a full control system that goes toe-to-toe with all the other whole-house control systems on the market,” emphatically says Nader Dajani, head of business development at the company.
Well, the message is finally being ‘heard.’
The Denver-based company has unveiled a new pricing structure for its control system. Dealers can buy the system outright under the Ruby plan, or they can pay 25 percent down with a monthly software licensing fee for a five-year, full-service upgraded warranty plan. (Dealer pricing is in the five-figures.)
The plug-and-play control system requires no wiring and no IP addresses, according to Dajani. “There are no specific technical network requirements other than you don’t want to run it over a cheap router.” That is not a problem since mostly high-end integrators are installing Josh.ai and replacing the home network.
According to Dajani, the voice control portion of Josh.ai has several advantages over Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri, including:
- It does not require a “wake” word like “Alexa” or “Hey Google.”
- It can string together multiple complex commands. A homeowner can ask Josh to “turn on the lights and dim them to 50 percent, lower the shades and my play my surf rock radio station” all in one command.
- It is designed for large, high-end homes. Josh.ai was not designed as a single-room solution. According to Dajani, it was one of the first to market with dynamic voice control, which is probably why the product was mistakenly pigeonholed as purely a voice control system.
Robert Costanza, president of RVC Systems Inc. in San Jose, Calif., is a fan.
“My experience with Josh.ai has been fantastic, from installing/programming to tech support. The team at Josh.ai flew out to meet me in person. They delivered the unit and gave me training on the product. I was then able to install the unit in the client’s home, program it, test and have it all working in under 30 minutes. I’ve never installed and programmed a system on the control/integration side so easily,” he notes.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how easy it is to install or setup a product if it’s not reliable and easy for the client to use. Josh.ai nails both. After giving the client a walkthrough of the smartphone app, the client was controlling the system as if he had been using it for years. I also showed the client how to log into the system through his computer to make programming changes and before I knew it, he had already created additional scenes, schedules and zones,” he explains.
Even though the system has voice control, it also works with Amazon Echo/Alexa and Google Home. Constanza says the system simply “sits on the network and ties everything together into a nice smartphone interface that’s easy to use while also giving you the additional ability of voice control,” he adds.