Control Your Lights, Shades, Audio & More Through the Power of Voice
Getting Started with Voice-Controlled Home Automation
Since Siri was introduced in 2011, voice assistants have increasingly become commonplace in many American households. Most people use their voice speakers to play songs or ask random questions like, “Alexa, what’s the flattest state in America?” (It’s Florida!)
That’s fun, but it isn’t really useful—until you merge voice control with home automation. When you own a smart home system like Crestron or Control4, you can manage your entire house in just a voice command, like casting a magic spell. If you’re new to voice-controlled home automation, here’s what you need to know for your home in the Palm Beach, FL area.
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What Can I Control with Voice?
When you integrate a voice assistant in your smart home system, you’ll have vocal control over:
- Smart lighting
- Motorized shades
- Multi-room audio
- TVs and projectors
- Smart door locks
- Ceilings fans
- And more!
And you can do much more than tell your voice assistant to turn on the lights. Say specific commands, like “Dim the lights to 30 percent” or “Play jazz in the living room and kitchen.” For your safety, when you ask to disarm alarms or unlock doors, you’ll be asked to say a unique passcode, so anyone who isn’t authorized can’t enter your house.
Which Voice Assistant Should I Use?
There’s no shortage of options for voice assistants. The three major players in home automation today are Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Josh.ai. Which will you choose?
If you already use Alexa at home, it’s compatible with both Crestron and Control4 smart systems. Amazon’s smart speakers offer three wake word options, as you can address your virtual assistant as “Alexa,” “Echo,” or “Amazon”—whichever feels more natural. Through Alexa, you can combine devices into rooms and string several actions into one command. For instance, you can say, “Alexa, turn on Netflix and dim the lights.” However, Alexa is known for comprehension difficulties and may require specific phrasings to understand you.
Google Assistant’s smart home capabilities are nearly equal to Alexa’s. But one unique benefit to choosing Google Assistant is its compatibility with YouTube, which has been appearing and disappearing from Amazon devices. Google Assistant also lets you select different voices but only responds to the wake word, “Okay, Google.” Google is also stronger than Alexa at answering web-based questions.
And last but certainly not least is Josh.ai. Josh isn’t a household name like Amazon or Google (yet), but you can’t do better than Josh.ai for voice-controlled home automation. It was built specifically for smart home control and understands natural language better than any other voice assistant. It can follow complex commands and knows that you may use several words to mean the same thing.
Plus, Josh.ai values its users’ privacy. It never sells your data to third-party marketers, and you’re in control of how much information you’ll allow AI learning to gather. Josh.ai’s devices include a switch that deactivates the microphone instantly, ensuring peace of mind when you want utmost privacy.
Want to bring voice control to your Palm Beach or Boca Raton-area home? Contact Definitive Electronics for a free consultation or to schedule a visit to our smart home showroom.