Adding a SWTOR server status checker to Nelly

I’ve chronicled the process of creating my own voice assistant, Nelly, before. The DIY voice assistant is made using Tasker, and allows me to take voice input and trigger various tasks from it. It’s continued to grow since the first article, and the latest addition to it is a simple tool that checks the status of the Star Wars: The Old Republic server that a friend and I play on.

The need for this arose from needing to check the server population status from within the game, without having to alt+tab out of it. The actual task works on the exact same principle as the last two Tasker setups I posted, the weather forecast announcer and the calendar event announcer. First, it reads the contents of a web page that displays the server status into a text file, and then into a variable (“virtual text file” that stores data within the app). It then uses a series of Variable Split actions to “chop” the variable up into pieces, where two of those pieces contain the server status and population, respectively (if you’re interested in learning exactly how it works, follow the links to the weather and calendar profiles and download those). It then uses that information in its reply back to me.

This may not be a voice assistant feature that a lot of people have a use for, but the important thing to take away from it is the method it uses. It’s possible to use the same method to collect essentially any information off the web, like the weather and calendar announcers also demonstrate. That allows you to make voice assistant features that would never be possible on Apple’s Siri, or Samsung’s S Voice for that matter. It takes a bit of work, most of which is actually learning how to do it in the first place, but once you have that, the sky’s the limit.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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