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How to Control Your Smart Home with Your Voice

Amazon’s Alexa Brings Voice Control to Winter Park Homes

How to Control Your Smart Home with Your Voice

When was the first time you ever saw or heard about voice control? Perhaps it was when you watched Scotty on Star Trek talk to the brain of the Enterprise by calling out “Computer!”  Or maybe it was in Back to the Future 2 when Marty McFly heard his smart home system say, “Welcome home, Marty!” Up until recent years, voice control had been a fantasy or imaginary idea in pop culture. Then we witnessed the creation of Apple’s Siri in 2011, allowing you to ask your smartphone all kinds of different questions, and even make commands. And today we have the newest voice control technology, Amazon’s Alexa.

Developed by Amazon, Alexa is the smart home automation software that allows you to perform all kinds of tasks with your voice. As the newest trend and biggest buzz in the smart home world, we want to inform you all about what Alexa can do and how you can benefit from it in your own Winter Park, Florida home. Keep reading to learn more.

SEE ALSO: What Really Makes a Home Smart?

Amazon’s Alexa

This year at CEDIA – the largest home technology event in the country – Alexa was the hottest topic. Alexa is the “intelligent personal assistant” software that runs on the Echo and the newly released Echo Dot - a smart speaker that can perform tasks with voice commands. Previously seen as a standalone product for DIY-type home automation products, now Alexa can be integrated into a number of different sophisticated systems, like Control4, Crestron, Lutron, and Savant.

Amazon’s smart home director, Charlie Kindel, said, “The original inspiration for the Echo was the Star Trek computer. We wanted to create a computer in the cloud that’s controlled entirely by your voice — you could ask it things, ask it to do things for you, find things for you, and it’s easy to converse with in a natural way. We’re a ways off from that, but that was, and is, our vision.”

Up until now, smart home companies have focused on developing apps homeowners can use to manage their homes. Wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, and touch screens have been the primary vehicles for control. But Kindel believes the tide is turning.

He said, "At Amazon, we think we're on the cusp of the next major disruption in computing. We think that disruption is around voice."

With Alexa, you can simply ask for the lights to turn off, your music to play, or give you the weather report, and it will perform your request instantly. Alexa even gives you a confirmation response of “OK” to re-affirm she heard your command.

Taking this concept a step further, you can even ask Alexa to perform your smart home scenes, such as “Good Morning,” “Welcome Home,” or “Movie.” All you have to do is say, “Alexa, turn on Welcome” and right when you step through the front door, your house lights will turn on, the shades will rise, your favorite music album will start to play, and the HVAC system will begin cooling the room.

Recently Google announced pre-orders for their soon-to-be-released Google Home. It, too, will provide voice control and communications to the home. With Google’s large search engine and partners with Nest and other Internet of Things (IOT) companies, it will be interesting to see where they take Voice User Interface (VUI). We await our chance to test it out and see how the two compare.

This hands-free solution is both convenient and enjoyable to use at home. And if feeling like Captain Kirk on the Enterprise is a motivator, we wouldn’t be all that surprised. After all, that’s how Alexa was born.

If you would like to add Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home to your smart home so you can start controlling features with your voice, contact us today by filling out our online form.