Voice control is coming to the forefront of the smart home
Vocca by ActiVocal
Vocca is much more than meets the eye. This simple-looking gadget is actually a lighting adapter that turns traditional bulbs into voice-activated ones. Stored inside is a microphone, an AC-to-DC converter, Bluetooth and memory, a natural language processor, and load relay. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi, set-up, or installation. Just by saying “Go Vocca light,” the device will be alerted that you’re ready to give a command, and from there, you can turn your lights on or off just by using your voice. With the compatible app, you can also schedule on/off times.
Echo by Amazon
Amazon recently announced that it’s building a speaker that can be controlled with your voice. Called Echo, it acts like a personal assistant that’s similar to Siri or Google Now — just crammed into a speaker. By using seven microphones equipped with sensors that use beamforming technology, it listens for user requests, and can even understand you while it’s pounding out 360-degree audio to fill the entire room. Designed to make your life a little bit easier, Echo, which responds to “Alexa,” can also tell you the weather and answer general questions with facts from Wikipedia.
HomeKit by Apple
Apple came flying into the smart-home sector with the idea of HomeKit, a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories. Once available, and by using Siri, HomeKit will allow users to control locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, and switches at home.
Homey by Anthom
Operating on a variety of protocols such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Z-Wave Homey is a voice-activated automation hub that can communicate with a bunch of differently configured gadgets at once. This voice-controlled sphere is also multi-lingual — it understands English, Dutch, Spanish, and French, and is compatible with a variety of app-enabled smart home products.