Finally, Google Home has arrived in Australia and we have the beginning of a genuine smart home infrastructure. The smart speaker promises to act as a central hub for all your Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It also serves to connect you with existing Google products and online services.
Commands include the useful, such as the “tell me about my day,” function which will run you through your appointments, the traffic on your commute and the weather outside, and the novel, such as asking Google for a recipe or requesting an Uber.
It’s real power, however, is in it’s ability to power a smart home, and this is where Google – like everyone else – is sorely lacking at the moment. Smart homes rely on the Internet of Things appliances that are ready to communicate with devices such as Google Home, the Apple HomePod or the Amazon Echo. Without the appliances, the capability of the devices is severely limited.
Ideally, these devices will enable users to interact with their home as an independent device. Your smartphone becomes a connection to your hub which connects to your smart devices. The reality of that is quite astounding – being able to turn the lights off and on from the other side of the world, heat up the oven, check the security cameras or even check on the pets while you’re away, and play with them. A smart home is a revolution in functionality, not usability, and most new smart devices will behave in exactly the same fashion, just with increased communication methodology.
But without the appliances, Google Home and it’s friends are nothing more than convenient upgrades to minor problems.
Google Wifi has also been released. This solves an important problem for people who are investing or have invested in appliances. In order to work effectively as a smart home, a house needs to have a solid Wi-Fi network which can interact easily across multiple devices. Google Wi-Fi creates a Wi-Fi grid for the home, essentially forming a seamless connection across the entire floor plan. When combined with smart devices and appliances, it’s an ideal connectivity experience.
Smart homes are coming, and this is the logical first step. With Amazon arriving inAustralia soon, the Echo and Home will be battling for smart home supremacy, and that’s good news for consumers.