Forget the Phone: Control Your Smart Home With Your Voice

If I’m honest, I have to say that there is a lot to love about home automation. From automating basic tasks to programming complex interactions between devices, controlling a home through automation is a fascinating endeavor. I am especially intrigued by the idea of doing it all with just my voice.


Voice control is something with which I am already familiar. In fact, I control my computer by speaking to it. This entire article was created with nothing but my voice. I speak and the computer translates my words into text. I can do something similar with home automation. So can you.


Speak and Your Home Responds


It can take some work to get a home automation system properly set up with voice control. But once everything is up and running as it should, automating your home becomes a snap. You speak and your home responds.


Do you want to turn on the lights in the kitchen while turning off lights in the living room? Just issue the appropriate commands. It’s done. Likewise, you can speak and tell your system to send you a prescription refill reminder next week. It really is amazing what you can do once you have voice recognition set up properly. With your voice you can:


  • Turn lights on and off.
  • Lock and unlock your door.
  • Adjust your thermostat temperature.
  • Draw or lift the blinds.


Virtually any automated device can be controlled with voice if you have a compatible system. That is the tricky part, by the way. Not all devices are compatible with either voice control or centralized programming.


What You’ll Need to Get Started


At the heart of voice control is a smart speaker. Another option is to put a personal assistant app on your phone. I like the smart speaker because it’s stationary. I don’t have to pull it out of my pocket to use it, either.


Google, Amazon, and Apple all have their smart speakers and mobile apps. Plenty of lesser-known brands are out there as well. If you are looking to install a pre-configured system from another brand, make sure the equipment works with popular smart speakers.


For example, Vivint Smart Home systems are compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Echo. You can connect both the Vivint mobile app and its centralized hub to a Google or Amazon smart speaker.


A DIY System


You may choose to build a DIY system instead of going with a pre-configured setup. In that case, get your smart speaker first. From there, you can start buying devices compatible with your speaker.


Most manufacturers make their products compatible with Google and Amazon smart speakers. However, you might prefer a more closed ecosystem. That’s great. Just know what you are buying before you spend the money. Devices that are not compatible with your smart speaker will not be accessible by voice.


A Ton of Patience


In addition to a smart speaker and compatible devices, you will also need a ton of patience. Although natural language processing and voice control have come a long way in recent years, they are far from perfect. It is going to take both you and your system some time to learn the best ways to utilize voice control.


One last thing you will need is a bit of technological know-how. Setting up voice control doesn’t require a college degree, but you will struggle if you have a hard time doing things like installing apps and connecting devices to a network.


I love home automation, especially when it is integrated with voice control. Forget the phone. I want to talk to my home.

About Richard Roberts

Tom Roberts: Tom, a gadget enthusiast, provides detailed reviews of the latest tech gadgets, smartphones, and consumer electronics.

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