Pause Between Words

Is there any type of code or variable or something that can be placed between words so they are emphasized like Attention "pause" Attention "pause" rest of speech. This would be nice if you could put a millisecond number in the pause. Any chance? TIA

you can do this in echo speaks.

It allows you to use ssml

Thanks, but I don't use any echo devices. Any other way?

I have used periods grouped together to control speech on Google. Example "10....9....8....7...." etc.

Our tts service supports in line ssml...

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but RM, App, and device input fields that look like HTML/SSML are removed/altered by HE code. One solution for a device driver is to use { } vs < >, then translate when used. It's been a few years, so perhaps this is no longer needed.

My SSML arming countdown example using the Fully Kiosk Browser Controller device

{speak}Alarm system is arming in 30 seconds, please exit the facility. {break time="1s"/} 25 seconds{break time="2800ms"/}20 seconds{break time="2800ms"/}15 seconds{break time="2800ms"/}10 seconds{break time="2800ms"/}5{break time="700ms"/}4{break time="700ms"/}3{break time="700ms"/}2{break time="700ms"/}1{/speak}

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Hubitat uses Amazon Polly for TTS sent to any speaker. Along with @arnb's example, this link may be useful:

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Thanks Mike. Looks like separate speech lines with waits.

Thanks for the reference. I have started to use this to enunciate an exit delay countdown timer for my security system using Echo Speaks as well as to emphasize certain words on various other announcements such as for water leak sensors. It’s incredible how flexible HE is when utilized with community apps. Thanks again!

Also, @arnb, thanks for the template for the countdown timer. In Echo Speaks, the Amazon Polly format of < > works and { } does not (but I am not incorporating this in a device driver as your example suggests). At any rate, thanks for the idea. Much appreciated!

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I'm unfamiliar with Polly and the Echo Speaks app. Wondering where is the SSML message entered, in Polly or the Echo Speak app?

Full disclosure, I am a newbie at this. That being said, I have entered my desired SSML message in the Echo Speaks app using the AWS Polly format outlined in the guide referenced by @aaiyar. It works beautifully and consistently to make various verbal alarm announcements in conjunction with my DSC system linked to HE via the Envisalink Integration with all of the customization available in the Polly tags.
The Amazon Polly formatted announcement is entered in the Response Designer tab of the Echo Speaks app (with all the Polly tags visible) but will be displayed in the Default Action Response tab in the Echo Speaks app (once you save it in the Response Designer page) as it will be announced (without the Polly tags).
Hope this helps.

BTW, @arnb , nice idea for the countdown announcement. I am using something very similar to let the family know how much time is left when the security system is counting down prior to arming itself. Thanks!


When I read this I thought I was hallucinating about being unable to enter HTML like strings into HE variable data fields. It's been a few years since I dealt with this, so I went back and it appears that it works in a Device, and fails in RM. I did not try this in an app other than RM. Update: it fails in an app, see next message.

  1. Set the test message to
    <speak>Alarm system is arming in 30 seconds, please exit the facility. <break time="1s"/> 25 seconds<break time="2800ms"/>20 seconds<break time="2800ms"/>15 seconds<break time="2800ms"/>10 seconds<break time="2800ms"/>5<break time="700ms"/>4<break time="700ms"/>3<break time="700ms"/>2<break time="700ms"/>1</speak>

  2. Entered the message into a Fully Kiosk Browser Controller device "Speak" command, and to my surprise it worked.

  3. Did a forum search for 'HTML Text', found this thread about RM

  1. Created a simple rule to speak a message on my Fully device. Entered the message from step 1 above, but after saving every thing the resulting text was
    Speak on Fully Talker Office(volume: 100): 'Alarm system is arming in 30 seconds, please exit the facility. 25 seconds20 seconds15 seconds10 seconds54321

Tried this in my Nyckelharpa Talker app, all control characters were stripped out, resulting text was:
Alarm system is arming in 30 seconds, please exit the facility. 25 seconds20 seconds15 seconds10 seconds54321

You should be able to use html in webcore

I can only speak to it working when directly entered into the Echo Speaks app (I have not tried this in RM).

As stated above, all the tags remained when viewed in the Response Designer tab of Echo Speaks but when viewed in the Default Action Response tab, the tags are stripped out. At any rate, the announcement itself appears to be enunciated properly.

I have not attempted to enter the Polly tags into any other application. I have a rule in RM that triggers a virtual switch that acts as a trigger to run my Echo Speaks child app (which makes the announcement) so none of the Polly tags have been entered into RM, only Echo Speaks.

As @arnb stated:

Whether it works or not appears to be app related, so YMMV. Just wanted to pass on my specific experience using it in my use case with Echo Speaks (not in RM).

Apps don't have commands. Please verify: those child "apps" may actually be devices.

Hi @arnb. I am at the office for the day so do not have the ability to get a screen shot for you of my app list but Echo Speaks, like a number of other apps, creates “child apps”, not “devices” when another instance of the app is created. I can show you this with screen shots once I get home in 12 hours or so.

Within the Echo Speaks app, I have one instance (or “child app” or “rule” if you prefer) set up for each of my announcements when I want to use a special emphasis in my announcement by incorporating the Amazon Polly tags. Because it is a “child app” or “rule” of Echo Speaks (much like a RM rule is a “child app” of RM), it does allow for setting up a “trigger” to initiate the running of the actions in this “child app”. In my case, the “actions” would be enunciation of the countdown announcement (with all the Amazon Polly tags incorporated).

I may be using the wrong nomenclature by referring to these “subapps” as “child apps” or “rules” (again, I am relatively new at this and have only been using HE for about 2 years now), but they are certainly not “devices” (AFAIK anyway), and they definitely do not show up on my device list.

Again, I will try to post some screen shots of the Echo Speaks app and the Amazon Polly tags in the Response Designer tab of Echo Speaks if it will help you to understand what I am referring to a little better. At any rate, as I said before, it works great for me, but of course, YMMV.

Can you give us an example of what you put into echo speaks?

Hi @jtmpush18,

Happy to do so once I get home, I will try to get some screen shots for @arnb and you. Won’t be able to do this for another 10 hours or so.

Hoping this will help.

Hi @arnb and @jtmpush18 , as promised:

This is a screenshot of the Echo Speaks app and the “child apps” on the App Page:

Third “child app” (my terminology, may be incorrect) from the bottom is my “Arm the House in AWAY Mode - Exit Countdown Timer (A)” child app (or rule if you wish). @arnb , this is not a “device”, nor do they appear in the Device List.

If you open this “child app”, you will see:

Scrolling down on this page, you will see that Action Triggers can be set, and at the bottom of the screenshot you can see that Execution Config may be set. Triggers that make this “child app” (or rule if you prefer) run are set in the Action Triggers window. In my case, I use a virtual contact with Auto-off switch to trigger the announcement “rule”. That way I can make a RM rule that triggers this virtual contact and easily modify the conditions under which this announcement will be made. For @jtmpush18 the next screen shot shows more of the Execution Config “tab”:

If you tap on the Execution Config tab to open it, you get this (notice the Default Action Response which shows the “response’ announcement as it will be enunciated (shows without the Amazon Polly tags):

By clicking on the Default Action Response, you will be taken to the Global Annoucement Speech Event Response Designer page shown below:

As you can see, each entry appears on a separate line (i.e., line #1 in the Response Designer window represents one response). If you add additional lines, Echo Speaks will allow for a random selection of line #1, #2, #3 etc if they are entered for a more organic or natural response. In my case, I only have a response entered for line #1 so ES will only respond with this one line. In addition, you can see that the SSML Markup Items which are available in Echo Speaks are also listed in the above screenshot.

Since this particular announcement is longer than the window is wide, you will have to scroll horizontally in order to see the whole text (in my case, which shows the Polly tags in the latter portion of the announcement) as can be seen below:

Again, all the SSML tags show in this window, however do not appear in the Execution Config tab (your announcement will show as it will be enunciated (without all the SSML Polly tags appearing). However, the announcement itself will be made with the appropriate breaks, Emphasis, Pitch, Volume, Voice etc chosen and inputted in the text of the announcement via < > Polly tags.

Sorry for such a long post but hope this clears up any confusion on the part of @arnb or others. Again, I am certainly no expert on this (admittedly a noob) so I must give all the credit to the fantastic job @tonesto7 did in developing this incredible app, and to all those in the community like @nh.schottfam that helped me implement @tonesto7 ’s great stuff.

Again, hope this helps.

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