CNET Smart Home
Conversations with a house -- voice control in the CNET Smart HomeWe wrangle the options to try and find the right digital assistant or assistants for the connected devices in the CNET Smart Home.
[MUSIC] Bill, junk, junk, hey a genuine fan letter. Dear CNET Smart Home, first time long time. A little strange we've only been around for a month. All day at work I have to use my hands. To open doors and to turn on lights. It's a terrible burden. Is there any way I can avoid such tedium in the comfort of my own home? Good news for [UNKNOWN] you're in luck because that's exactly what we're going to talk about today. [MUSIC] Hey there. We're here at the scene at Smart home. Taking a look at controlling the tech in this house. Why? Because voice control is cool. And because controlling tech with your voice keeps it all simple. And accessible. Toi that end, we have four. Kind of one, two, three, four. Options. Option number one: Cortona. AI from the popular Halo video game franchise, Cortana's the personal assistant on Windows phones and Windows tablets but she doesn't offer any smart home integration, so she's out. Option number two, Google Now. The Android personal assistant. You can use Google Now to control the Nest thermostat which we have installed here at the smart house, but that's it right now. So, Google's out too. That leaves us with these two. Option number three, Siri. You iPhone's digital assistant can control things compatible with Apple's Home Kit. Option number four, Alexa. The personality inside the Amazon Echo, which is not only a Bluetooth speaker, but can act as a Smart Home controller and manipulate devices That home kit can't. So between these two options which one best meets our needs? Pick me, pick me. I'm great for this sort of thing. I can let you control things remotely. This shouldn't even be up for debate. You must be crazy if you don't pick me. Everybody knows I'm the best. Apple iOS is the best, with home kit you can control all kinds of gadgets. I'm obviously better. Stop [BLANK_AUDIO] Because you do stuff that you don't, and because you do stuff that you don't, we're going with both for the CNet smart hub. Between Siri and Alexa, we're able to control almost everything we have set up in the CNet smart house. Alexa can control the smart things accessories, and the Belkin Wimo switch Images. Siri can control the Phillips hue lights, as well as the Schlage door locks we currently have installed. Both platforms also have a lot of strengths and weaknesses, but they compliment each other well. Alexa, you can't control remotely at all. Siri can. You need to have an Apple TV set up. But if you do, you can control any home kit devices from wherever you have your iPhone. And soon you won't even need an Apple TV to do that. But Siri doesn't have any centralized controls. If you don't have your iPhone with you or a family member doesn't have one at all then they're completely out of luck in terms of being able to control anything. With Alexa, all you need to do is say her name, and if she can hear you, she'll respond. [SOUND] Turn on the porch lights. Lock the front door. Okay, the front door is locked. I can't think of a better metaphor for the current state of the smart home than two robots vying for our attention, but that's where we are for now. So for the moment, Siri and Alexa are gonna live side by side in the C/Net smart home. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks and months to see all of our plans for this house. We'll see you next time. [MUSIC]