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Smart Home

ADT has its finger on the Pulse of voice control

ADT's new voice-activated Pulse Voice app brings hands-free control to your connected home.

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ADT's new Pulse Voice app. ADT

ADT has just unveiled Pulse Voice, a companion app for its existing Pulse home security and automation service. The new app uses voice control to help you monitor and make changes to your home security system and other devices.

Current ADT subscribers can get Pulse Voice for free today on their Android and iOS devices.

Once you've downloaded the app, you need to come up with a five-word password -- this becomes your verbal login identifier. The app is also supposed to rely on voice recognition and confirm the identity of the mobile device being used before it allows anyone to sign in.

After successfully getting past these three levels of security, you should be able to tap into your Pulse service remotely. You'll be able to arm and disarm your security system and control compatible lighting, thermostats, and locks -- all with verbal commands.

ADT's logic here is clear -- Pulse Voice is designed to provide a convenient gateway to your home security system and other connected home products. Whether you're struggling with bags of groceries or would simply rather "tell" the app to lock your front door instead of interacting with it directly, ADT wants to give you another option. Supposedly, the voice control technology will tune into key words, names of products, and certain phrases and even respond to confirm that it "heard" you.

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The ADT Pulse service has a wide range of home security and automation options. ADT

This isn't the first time we've seen voice activation paired with home automation. Athom, a startup based in the Netherlands, recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for Homey . Homey is a glowing sphere that can sit in your living room and act as a protocol hub, much like Revolv or other more mainstream offerings. Interactive Voice's Lowes Iris and Staples Connect -compatible Ivee Sleek personal home assistant is another home-automation gadget that can respond to voice commands.

We also reviewed the $349 Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control and found the feature useful, but ultimately too limited and gimmicky to justify its price. But ADT's Pulse Voice app certainly isn't doomed. The direct voice-control functionality on the app, as well as the home security component, might just make for a new and welcome connected home experience.