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Smart Home is becoming a reality

 

May, 2017

Google Home was launched in the UK at the beginning of April and as tech enthusiasts, my family and I were keen to try it out.

 

Our first step was to connect Google Home to the other smart home devices we already have around our house. First were our Philips Hue lights, which do not require any extra configuration. Through Google Home, I can control my Hue lights with a simple voice command, such as ‘Brighten the lights in the living room’, ‘Turn off the light in the kitchen’, etc. It makes the interaction seamless, removing the need to interrupt what I’m doing to adjust the lights, and therefore making the experience more natural.

 

Another use case that we particularly enjoy, is to ask Google to play music through our Sonos system and play YouTube videos through our TV. This required purchasing some Chromecast accessories but works a treat. We get a great experience when using in conjunction with Google Music – we simply ask for any music we wish to listen. This however really highlights the battle of ecosystems that is raging at the minute with Google and Amazon who have already launched their ‘home assistant’ offer and Apple and Microsoft expected to follow suit. 

Smart Home is becoming a reality

It has been especially fascinating to watch how the kids quickly adopt new technology and interact with it in a totally natural way. As Google Home removes the need to deal with the sometimes complex computer interfaces that they can’t always master, my children have enthusiastically started including Google in their daily routines. For example, my 7-year old wanted to know the weather for an upcoming Brownies activities and simply declared that she was going to ask Google. The children were saying goodnight to Google at the weekend with a ‘OK Google, good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite’. Google replied ‘The engineers are really good at keeping me bug-free’ which had them in stitches of laughter. This was a very serendipitous moment of delight – human technology in action, which is the key to adoption.

 

We are still finding our way around Google Home and new use cases are continuously being developed. With their ability to help remove friction and add delight to our daily life, voice activated home assistants are an interesting new technology here to stay.

 

Learn more about Google Home here.

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