I know, this is an arduino forum, but there will be plenty of arduino action in other parts of the project
I'm working on a wireless doorbell system for my house, and need to make several "ringers" to put in different rooms. Rather than bells/buzzers/etc., I'd like the unit to say "front door", "back door", and "side door" (as appropriate). This will be determined by output from an xBee radio, but that's not important for this question - just assume it's a system with 3 push-buttons, each button playing one message.
I know I can easily do this with an Arduino, either using a voice synthesizer chip (SpeakJet), or a sound file player (such as the SOMO-14D), etc. But that means that each of these units (I need at least 3) I will have to have a full-up Arduino (or other microcontroller, I guess) and at least one other expensive chip, bringing the total cost of each unit to more than $60 (there'll also be an xBee in each unit).
Both of these solutions seem like overkill - they are great if you need to be able to vary your output, or play long clips, or be able to change the clips at will, but in my application I just need to play one of 3 short audio clips.
Is there a simpler/cheaper/better solution?
I'm very, very new to this, and my background is software, not hardware, but it seems there ought to be a way to do this with three small non-volatile memory chips and some sort of sound processor, so the "pushbuttons" just select which memory chip dumps its data into the processor. Any thoughts or suggestions?