Everything you need to know to make your home smarter | Part 2 |

In our previous article we did analyse the different popular smart systems, each with its advantages, disadvantages and range of compatible devices. We looked at the universal Alexa. And brought your attention to thousands of gadgets and devices compatible with Alexa of very different brands.


In this article we will take a look at Google Assistant, your virtual butler and much more.


Google also wants its share of the cake and for that reason in recent years it has been subtly bringing forward its virtual Google Assistant in our lives. First in the form of software for mobile terminals and with some language limitations that have gradually exceeded more than 30 languages. And later, as a complete device for the home in the well-used form of a connected speaker capable of helping us with basic tasks.


It was with the arrival in 2017 of the original Google Home, the Home Mini and later of the Home Max when the plans of the giant of the search engines have been shaping beyond the smartphone in two modes: devices with the assistant incorporated inside and equipment They do not have it but they can be managed from them, a strategy very similar to Amazon.

Assistant thus opens the door for third-party companies to bet on the Google ecosystem and integrate it into all kinds of gadgets and accessories for the home such as speakers, music equipment, televisions, light bulbs and a long etc., also allowing multi-language support or change language and a few touches of artificial intelligence in the cloud that will be responsible for answering certain simple questions. We can ask about weather information, traffic, check our calendar, flight data, sporting events, request translations of a phrase, dictionary entries, schedule tasks, etc. The virtual assistant will use your AI to try to satisfy our requests in a similar way as it does in a new generation smartphone.

But the most interesting point is found in the ability to interact with smart equipment, appliances and devices of the Internet of things. If we have a Google Home Loudspeaker or a system that incorporates Assistant inside, we can use it directly as a hub or control centre for the rest of the connected elements of our home. Once detected all the devices in the same network we can give different orders regardless of whether or not they are in the same room.


Depending on the device itself we can request that the lights be turned on or off, change the temperature of a thermostat, access surveillance camera functions, close and open electronic doors, change channels or stations, control multimedia playback, etc. In addition, after the Mobile World Congress of 2018 Google announced that its ecosystem Assistant will allow the support of the so-called routines, which will allow through a simple voice command perform several scheduled actions. For example, telling the assistant "Ok Google, I'm home" could turn on the house lights, play music and change the temperature of the air conditioning, or saying "OK Google, activate movie mode" you can lower the blinds, turn off the lights, turn on the TV and activate the surround sound system.


Assistant's strengths

One of Assistant's strengths is its ability to speak multiple languages and adoption by third-party companies with more than 5,000 compatible devices.

As we can see, there are interesting possibilities, although of course they depend on how they are finally implemented in the devices and that there are compatible gadgets, something that is increasingly common reaching the most important brands in the consumer electronics sector. Although last year already started to come interesting proposals, this year from CES 2018 the available equipment has grown considerably and recently Google announced that there are already more than 5,000 compatibles with its ecosystem.

For example, there are already monitors with Assistant of brands such as Acer or NVIDIA with advanced second screen functions. It has also reached devices with Android TV as an operating system and has begun its deployment on Sony's smart TV (for the moment in the United States). The idea is to be able to have the television as a control canter for home automation equipment with a more visual interface instead of using a loudspeaker or mobile phone.

In fact, Sony is not the only brand interested. A few months ago Philips showed its own implementation of Assistant on its smart TVs from which we can access services and control connected objects of the company such as Philips Hue lights or their sound bars. We will have control over the thermostats and the lighting of the brand from the TV itself using simple voice commands and pressing a single button on the remote control if we do not want to use the famous "OK Google".

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