Josh: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions
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Is Josh available now?
Yes, Josh started shipping in Q4 of 2016. You can get Josh now through your local dealer. Please visit our Get Josh page for more information.
How much does Josh cost?
The cost of a Josh.ai system depends on the complexity and details of your home. Feel free to reach out here and we would be happy to discuss. You can also get more information by visiting the Get Josh page or this blog post on more pricing details.
What equipment do I need to run Josh in my home?
All you need to run Josh is a WiFi network and an electrical outlet that Josh can plug into. No really, there’s absolutely no heavy installation required.
What products does Josh work with?
Josh works with most of the popular smart home products such as the Nest thermostat, Sonos music player, and Lutron lights. To see a full list of what works with Josh, check out our Works With page.
What if Josh stops working?
If for some reason you can’t find your Josh app / device or something isn’t working properly, don’t fear. Josh never interferes with your ability to control your devices directly. You can always operate each individual device with their switches, buttons, app, etc. Josh will never override your ability to have control of your home and peace of mind.
Is there a limit to the number of devices I can connect to Josh?
Nope. Josh can connect to all the devices you have installed in your home.
How can I get Josh professionally installed?
We love professional installers, and if you have a mixture of smart devices and legacy home controls, we have a number of referrals we can recommend near you. Please send us an email with your location and we can help.
Does Josh have an API?
Josh is customizable in a number of ways. The simplest is the ability to create a scene consisting of, for example, which lights to turn on, what music to play, etc. A scene can be triggered either manually using the app or in some automated way. It is also possible to add drivers for devices that we don’t support by writing them in Josh’s language, J++. Sample code for drivers will be available to help make this process easy. In addition, you can expand what phrases Josh understands and write a custom handler for them in J++. A more formal API is in the works but we have not yet announced a release date.
If I move, can I take Josh with me?
Absolutely. Unlike other professionally installed control systems, Josh doesn't require any hardwiring or custom programming, so it's easy for your professional installer to move it to a new location.
What technologies does Josh use?
To provide the best experience possible, Josh uses proprietary NLP (natural language processing) technology hosted on both local as well as cloud-based servers. Josh links into smart devices such as Nest, Sonos, and Lutron. Josh has been built into both iOS and Android to maximize compatibility. If you have questions about the specifics of the technology, feel free to contact us at any time.
Is Josh available outside the US?
Our current focus is on the North American market. If you are interested in an English speaking Josh, please reach out to us at contact@jstar.ai and we would be happy to discuss. More languages are in the works.
Will Josh understand English with a foreign accent?
Josh uses the latest technology for speech recognition, and we have tested the system for a variety of English speakers. If you find that Josh is having trouble understanding you, please let us know.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
If you have questions about Josh, including installation, price, jobs, and general smart home inquiries, please reach out to contact@jstar.ai and one of our representatives will be in touch!
What does Josh do?
Josh connects you with all the professionally installed systems and devices in your home. Using your voice, Josh can turn on and off your lights, change the temperature, play music, and more, whether you're home or away. Unlike other voice systems that require specific ways of speaking, or only integrate with one smart home system, Josh is built to understand natural language and access a multitude of home systems.
Why is it called Josh?
First and foremost Josh is an artificial intelligence you can speak with. As such, we thought it fitting to give Josh a name that was both friendly and familiar. When you search “Josh” in Google, the first result is from Urban Dictionary which states, “He is a fun loving guy really funny and can make anyone laugh. He is very quiet at first and seems shy but when you get to know him you will fall in love.” With that we thought Josh was a pretty good choice!
CAN I CHANGE JOSH'S NAME?
We like the name Josh, but we encourage you to choose a name personal to you. During the setup process you can change Josh's name, gender, and even accent. You can create a variety of personas to speak with, such as a female Indian named Veena or a British male named Charles, for example.
Why is your logo a dog?
Josh is a home’s best friend. Much like a dog, Josh is intelligent, responsive, and learns his owner’s commands. Unlike other smart home controls that either can’t roam by your side, or only know one trick, Josh combines all aspects of smart homes, into one friendly, well-trained responder. Josh is your companion, and always happy to see you come home.
Can I speak with Josh when away from home?
Absolutely! One of the best aspects of Josh is the ability to use it from anywhere in the world right from your smartphone. Have fun telling Josh on your way home to play your favorite music, or check cameras when you’re on vacation.
Will Josh work with my phone?
Josh works with most Android and iOS phones and tablets. You can also control Josh from any computer using our web dashboard. Whether you’re an iPhone 7s or Galaxy S7 person, Josh will work for you.
How is Josh different than the Amazon Echo?
Josh is a complete standalone control system that uses voice as one of its control interfaces. Josh's voice control is driven by our own proprietary AI engine. In addition to voice, Josh comes with a fully built set of apps and a web portal to give you control from any room in your house or anywhere in the world. The Amazon Echo is a stationary microphone you place in a room to issue voice commands. Josh can use almost any microphone, including the Amazon Echo, for voice control. For those who don't like the idea of always-listening microphones throughout the home, you can use Josh's app to speak directly to the system instead, so you feel safe and protected.
Is Josh safe / secure?
We take every measure to ensure Josh is safe and secure. We encrypt all messages, use common protocols like OAuth2 and SSH (secure shell), and Josh actively monitors and notifies you when suspicious activity is detected.
Where can I learn more about AI and NLP?
You can check out our blog where we have written articles on both of those topics. For AI, here is a good introduction as well as this online training course. For NLP, take a look at the Natural Language Toolkit as well as this video on YouTube.
Does Josh learn?
Josh is constantly improving and getting better. Our goal is to make Josh smart and intuitive for you as you go about your day. If there are specific things you’d like Josh to be capable of, let us know.
If I have existing ZigBee or Z-Wave devices, will they work with Josh?
Josh works with a variety of popular smart home products. To see a full list, visit our Works With page or contact us with specific inquiries.
Does Josh work when the Internet goes down?
Josh lives in two places: in your home and in the cloud. When the Internet goes down, Josh loses access to the outside world, but you still have control in the home. This means devices on your local network will continue to work, but cloud based products like Nest will be temporarily unavailable.
Is there a trial period / What is the return policy?
We are confident Josh will enhance the way you interact with your home. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, you may return Josh for a full refund at any time within 14 days of receiving it.
Is Josh magic?
The technical answer is no, but you might not believe us. Let’s just say you might be impressed with what Josh can do by simply speaking naturally to him.