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Smart Home

Google Home expands its smart home reach with Z-Wave

Z-Wave shows off upgraded firmware at IFA in Berlin allowing you to control devices with your voice through Google.


The Google Home

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Soon, you can build your own Google-controlled smart home.

At IFA, Berlin's annual tech showcase, Z-Wave is showing off a module that will allow you to upgrade your smart home with voice controls through the Google Assistant. Soon, if you have a Raspberry Mini Computer, a Western Digital MyCloud Smart Home System, or a Popp Hub Control Center, you'll be able to control synced devices with a voice command to your Google Home or Google Pixel.

Z-Wave allows accessories to talk to each other and to the cloud without using much energy -- so small devices can survive for awhile without expending much battery life. Z-way is software that will enable devices that use Z-Wave to respond to Google. 

You could already control quite a few smart home products with the Google Assistant -- the search giant's digital assistant akin to Siri or Alexa. The Z-Way firmware built into the hubs listed above should allow you expanded access to smaller accessories like sensors and plugs without needing to invest in a big-name smart home platform such as SmartThings

Google's working on expanding the number of devices with the Google Assistant built-in at IFA (the company just announced three new third-party speakers with the Assistant), while Z-Wave is working on helping you use the Assistant to control more of your home. Z-Way already works with Amazon's assistant Alexa, so a DIY smart home is becoming ever easier to control with your voice.