Amazon Echo

What is the Best Voice Control System for Your Home?

Home Voice Control
Voice control platforms like Amazon’s Echo (Alexa), Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Home are taking the smart home industry by storm. Home loudspeakers, light fixtures, thermostats, and more recently complete home automation systems are integrating the technology to provide a hand-free mode of managing the electronic devices in their homes. Sounds easy, and for the most part it is, but voice control isn’t perfect. It’s not for everyone. And it’s not the end-all-be-all of home control. You need to understand the positives and negatives about the technology before you decide to proceed. But remember, like all technologies, voice control will continue to improve and evolve as time goes on. These observations might be true today, but come tomorrow, who knows?

It’s Not Completely Natural… Yet
The first issue is voice-enabled products must be spoken to with exact phrases. They do not understand the way you normally speak. You’ll need to speak in a pattern and phrase your wishes perfectly for the technology to understand what you want. For example, you can’t just say “turn on the lights” and expect the lights in the room in which you are standing to activate. Rather, you’ll need to say “Alexa, turn on the family room lights,” to make things happen. But what if you have five controlled lights in the family room and you want one of them to come on. This is where more in-depth programming and configuration are required.

Control System Integration for Complex Requests
The most popular way to incorporate voice control into your home is to buy a DIY single product with the technology built-in—a light bulb or a loudspeaker, for instance. Voice control Nirvana—when you shout out “I’m home” and the entire environment changes at once (lights, shades, music, temperature, etc.) can only happen with the help of a voice-enabled home control system. These are just starting to hit the market from companies like Control4.

Not Good for Some Purposes
Does it really make sense to speak to your house non-stop for every single alteration you deem necessary? Probably not. Use it when the situation makes sense for voice control. For example, when your hands are busy cooking a meal or tinkering with the engine of a car, are prime times to use your voice to adjust the lights, turn up the music, and so on. Other times, it might be more convenient to simply grab the remote control.

Not a Replacement
Electronic Creations recommends you think of voice control as a complement to other home control interfaces like remote controls, smart phones, tablets, keypads and touch-panels. Do not think of it is a replacement. There are applications for voice that are a great convenience…but some are not.

Not Everything Can Hear You… Nor Should It
Today, the more devices that are controlled by voice commands, the more phrases you’ll need to remember. At a certain point, you may need a cheat sheet. This means you are doing too much. Choose only a select few things.

It’s Not Perfect… But Always Improving
Expect voice control in the home to go through some growing pains, just as any new technology does. There will be misunderstood commands, hiccups in the way the systems respond and all sorts of snafus to experience in these first-generation solutions. Software and hardware updates will ensue, as consumers become increasingly more comfortable with the talking to their smart homes.

Right Now
From our standpoint, right now Amazon’s Echo has the lead. It has the widest base of integration. Competitors are nipping at their heels. Google and Apple are certainly making huge efforts to dominate the game.

Electronic Creations can help you select the best system that works for your home. Let our decades of experience work for you. Contact us online, or call for a free consultation or for more information. 407-299-0905

Attribution: Electric House

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