Activating a smart-speaker is incredibly easy—just use its wake word: “Okay Google”, or “Alexa” and these devices are able to interpret your commands.
“Okay Google, play some music”
“Alexa, buy dish soap”
“Hey Google, what’s the weather like today?
A few decades ago, this technology was unimaginable outside of science fiction media. These days, most people know someone with a smart-speaker in their home. The largest tech companies are vying for dominance in the market, hoping that digital assistants are the future of consumer electronics.
Convenience is King
Convenience is perhaps the greatest advantage to purchasing one of these devices. Being able to do chores or adjust settings in your house hands-free is a large part of why smart-speakers are becoming so popular. Voice assistants can even shop for you, which means more time to allocate to other areas of your life.
For your security system, having a smart-speaker means you have the ability to arm your security system without having to pick up your smartphone or go to the control panel. You can also command your virtual assistant to lock your smart doorlock as long as your phone or smart-speaker is within range for the command to be heard. If you have light switches and a smart thermostat as part of your system, you can turn these on and off and adjust the temperature in your house through voice command as well.
When considering a voice-activated digital assistant, make sure it is the right fit for your lifestyle. Incidents have been reported where virtual assistants made unauthorized purchases based on background sounds or requests from a user’s child, for example. Until voice recognition technology is more adept at distinguishing individual voices, limitations have been placed in terms of home security integration.
Most security system integrations do not allow for disarming or unlocking doors due to security concerns. Those linked to Google Home will not enable disarming of the panel or unlocking of your smart doorlock through voice command. Those linked with Amazon Alexa do allow disarming and unlocking of your system through voice, as long as you also provide your 4-digit pin. This is a safety feature implemented to ensure your security system is not compromised accidentally or when under duress.
Do Your Research!
Please see the following video: www.libertysecurity.ca/smart for information on how to get started connecting your Google Home device to an existing, monitored security system. The steps may vary depending on your provider and your specific smart-speaker, but this video should give you a general idea of how to set up your security system with voice command.
While Voice User Interface technology is convenient, potential users should weigh this convenience against the possible security risks associated with always-on microphones. We hope this information will be helpful for you in making decisions regarding integrating a smart-speaker with your smart home.
Written by Candice Mendoza