Is Google home the future of the smart home?
The smart home has moved from sci-fi movies into the real world, but we’re still waiting for one device to take control of all the connected gadgets around the house.
That’s where the newly announced Google Home comes in. It’s a small speaker that will answer questions, control smart gadgets and do loads more, all through conversational voice commands.
What can Google Home do?
The core of Google Home is its voice control system, Google Assistant. It’s an upgrade from the Google Now system you find on Android smartphones, so you can ask it questions, get it to set alarms and even tell it to send messages.
Its big new benefit, however, is its ability to understand conversational language.
If, for example, you want to find out what’s on at the local cinema, you could ask Google Home ‘What’s playing tonight?’ and it’ll give you listings. You could then say ‘Is that movie any good?’ and it would give you ratings from IMDB. Then you could end the conversation saying ‘Let’s see that’ and Home would book tickets.
Google Home can start conversations too. When it has something to let you know it sounds an alert. You can then reply with ‘OK Google, I’m listening’ and it’ll read out the notification.
Google’s example of this feature is when you’re going on holiday. Google Home might see that your flight’s been delayed and tell you that you don’t need to leave so soon. It would also bring up other relevant information, like a traffic report for the roads between your home and the airport, so you can plan ahead.
Of course, Google Home is about more than finding stuff online – it’s set to work with smart home devices too.
As Google wants to open Home up to the world’s tech companies, you’ll be able to use it to turn lights on and off, set your heating, turn down the temperature on your oven… the possibilities are endless.
Is Google Home a future essential?
With its ability to hold a conversation and control all the connected devices you own, Google Home is like a digital butler, so it’s sure to become an everyday appliance like your smartphone.
With Google Home doing our bidding, however, we’ll have to be careful not to turn into the helpless humans from the Pixar movie Wall-E.