Control Your Entire Home Using Your Voice

It’s 5:30 p.m. and your kids are getting restless, but dinner isn’t quite ready yet. No need to stop cooking to entertain the kids. You can simply use the voice command, “Alexa, tell me a joke.” Or start an impromptu dance party in the kitchen by asking her to play your kid’s favorite song.

At first, it might seem a little strange to talk to an inanimate object. But, spend a few days with Alexa, the voice of Amazon Echo, and you’ll be hooked. She can help you perform a variety of simple tasks from setting a timer to checking the weather; she can even add milk to your grocery list. But, most importantly, she frees up your time for more important things, such as wrapping up a work project or spending time with your family.

Voice-enabled technology, like Amazon’s Alexa, makes our lives easier. It’s one of the key reasons why it’s become increasingly popular. Gartner predicts that, by next year, 30% of our interactions with technology will be through “conversations” with smart machines. Although the technology is still new, and far from perfect, homeowners are finding it can also enhance their experience at home.

Start with a few simple voice-controlled tasks, and you, too, may find voice command as the gateway to wanting to control other things, such as your lights, door locks, thermostats, and more.

All your favorite home devices, working together.

There are literally hundreds of individual devices that will work with Amazon Echo to create your own smart home. For those of you who enjoy setting up thermostats, lighting, and tinkering with getting the set-up “just right” — this might be for you.

The real power comes when you can control several individual devices at once to create a personalized, whole-home experience. You can achieve this through smart home control systems such as Control 4 or Crestron with Amazon Echo. Through this integration, you can control several devices with a single voice command. Simply say, “Alexa, Goodnight” to have the doors lock, lights turn off, and security system arm.

See it in action: https://www.control4.com/o/alexa

Sonos One, the smart speaker for music lovers.

If you’ve always loved the Echo’s smarts, but hated the way it sounds, well, now you can remedy that by getting a Sonos One speaker with Alexa built-in. You can use the Sonos for multi-room audio or as a stand-alone speaker, and it can integrate into an existing Sonos system. With the Sonos One, speak like you normally would to Alexa to play, pause, or skip music. Not sure of the song? Just ask “Alexa, what song is this?” And, the Sonos One can do all the fun, smart home stuff, too.

One catch: As of this month, unless it’s a service Amazon supports (Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Sirius, or TuneIn), your phone or tablet is still required to open the Sonos app to the music streaming service started. Once it’s playing, you can use your voice control to pause or adjust the volume.

In 2018, Sonos plans to support Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. This technology will continue to improve over time through software upgrades.

Voice-enabled technology is readily available and affordable to get started with. For a fully integrated smart home experience, with hands-free control of lighting, door locks, security, and entertainment contact Definitive. Or, visit one of our showrooms and ask us to tell you a joke, but we’ll probably just ask Alexa. 😀