Smart home technology systems: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Smart home technology systems: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

How can smart technology transform your home? Here are three ways that Amazon Echo and Google Home can make your life easier — and more fun. We’ll look at the concept behind smart home technology, then explore a handful of the features that two popular smart home devices have to offer.

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What is smart home technology?

Smart home technology lets you link electrical devices in your home so that they all respond to a single controller. Using this controller, you can turn off your kitchen lights, turn on your home security system, or turn up your speakers. The controller might resemble a TV remote, or it might be an app on your phone. Some controllers even use voice recognition, equipping the devices in your house to respond to your verbal commands.

The highlights of Amazon Echo and Google Home

Recently, Amazon and Google each released a version of smart home technology (according to Wikipedia, Google released its program in response to Amazon’s). The Amazon Echo and Google Home both enable you to form a network of electrical devices that you can control by talking to them. Three of these products’ highlights are:

Artificial Intelligence

Both Amazon Echo and Google Home use artificial intelligence to provide you with a virtual personal assistant. Like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant can field questions and pull up information in response to spoken commands. Amazon boasts that Alexa is continually refining its ability to recognize your individual speech patterns. In addition, it collects information about your preferences and uses this to respond to your commands more accurately. Google Assistant can hold a conversation, besides simply answering voice commands. It can also deduce answers–particularly music choices–based on context. For instance, you can ask for the song that appears in the credits of your favorite movie, without knowing the name of the song itself, and Google Assistant will play the song for you. Both Alexa and Google Assistant respond to a “wake word” that alerts the program that you are giving it a command or asking it a question.

Connection

Google Home and Amazon Echo are designed to create connections between multiple devices and to make features like those on your smartphone accessible using a few voice commands. You can use both smart home programs to control electrical devices in your home, from thermostat to radio. Both programs can also access apps in order to play your music and more. If you have multiple Google Home devices, you can even synchronize them to play the same music throughout your house.

Variety

Amazon’s Echo comes in three sizes: the original Echo, the Tap, and the Echo Dot. The original Echo has the most substantial speakers of the three. The Dot has the same capacity for connecting devices and controlling electrical devices, but for the highest sound quality it needs to plug into a separate set of speakers. The Tap, unlike the original and the Dot, charges in a cradle instead of with a cord so that it’s more portable. It also requires you to push a button to wake it, instead of using a speech command. Although Google Home only comes in one size, it does come in a variety of colors to match the color scheme of the room where you plan to put it.

These three features of Amazon Echo and Google Home (and many others) make these smart home programs good candidates for changing the way you manage the technology you use every day.

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