11:28 20 April 2017
Voice-controlled virtual assistants are poised to further revolutionise home automation offering consumers a viable alternative to expensive, professionally installed systems. Frontrunners are Siri from Apple Inc., Google Assistant from Alphabet, Inc., and Alexa from Amazon.com, Inc. Each offers advantages and comes with drawbacks. Choosing the best one boils down to your unique needs and preferences.
This platform is supported by Siri, which can be used to automate a variety of smart-home products using the app or voice control. Its key point is that HomeKit-compatible devices have been reviewed and vetted by Apple so you can expect end-to-end security. Although this limits the number of devices that you can use, it is likely that your home will be safe from being hacked.
Amazon Alexa and Echo
Amazon’s Alexa powers the Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap smart-home speakers and accepts over 10,000 commands that cover a wide variety of areas. The system, which does not have a dedicated app, integrates with dozens of smart-home devices that operate using different manufacturer-specific apps.
Google Home and Home Control
Home, just like Amazon’s Echo, is a smart home speaker that works with components from Nest, Philips Hue, IFTTT, and SmartThings. Together, they cover most used home-automation components. Similar to Alexa, there’s no independent verification of device security and the integration of multiple smart-home products requires the use of an IFTTT device.