1. Phil Schroeder's Avatar
    I am a pretty avid Google fan. I have a Pixel and had two nexus devices before that and I'm on Project Fi. I also recently hooked up Google WiFi and love it. My next foray is replacing my functional but annoying Lowes IRIS system. I would like to get Google Home and use this to mostly give me access to monitoring and controlling various smart devices in the home. But I feel like I'm missing something in translation. It seems the main perk people are looking for with Home and things like Alexa is being able to give voice commands to turn on lights, find channels, change the temperature, arm security systems, etc. The voice aspect is useful, but I'm more interested in Google Home acting as a smart home hub. It seems like this is possible but is there any way to interact with this beyond voice? Can you use an app or is there a web interface to manage connected devices and their settings/states? From what I've read it seems like you can have something like Scout, SmartThings, Vivint, etc. for security and basically hook their hub up with Google Home thus allowing you to make voice commands to devices connected on this other hub. The need for two hubs seems redundant but there doesn't seem to be anythign security oriented that is able to be natively controlled by Google home without using another smart hub or IFTTT. Am I understanding this correctly? Any suggestions on what approach I should be taking based upon the above paragraph? Thanks!
    09-11-2017 04:52 PM
  2. SpookDroid's Avatar
    It depends on the system you're using. MOST require a hub to work with these Assistants (be it Google, Alexa, etc.). Neither Google nor Alexa's system is meant to be a full-automation hub. Some systems (smart lights, etc.) can connect directly to Alexa or Google without the need for a hub, but you won't get specialized functions that you might find in an automation-specific hub system. You'll be able to turn them on/off, monitor them, etc. but that's about it. General stuff.

    Two 'hubs' does seem redundant, but only when you think of Google's or Amazon's or any other system as anything more than an Assistant. Yes, they're powerful, but they're not specialized. If you want basic automation control, you can get it, but only if the connecting system also supports direct connection to these systems, and most so far, require a Hub in-between.
    09-12-2017 12:00 AM
  3. Phil Schroeder's Avatar
    Thanks, SpookDroid. I feel like now that I've gone down this rabbit hole, I really don't understand what is so compelling about Google Home or Alexa. To me it seems more valuable to the company to get more data. But ultimately just having something I talk to answer a question for me, add something to my cart, or possibly control just a handful of smart devices in my home isn't very useful. I would prefer a good smart home hub with a good app that actually lets me monitor and control the things I care about. I really don't care about talking to a hub or getting questions answered this way. Sure it's nice to just ask and hear an answer, but it's gimmicky and my own Googling and research will be far more effective for a more holistic answer to my quesiton.
    09-13-2017 10:02 AM
  4. SpookDroid's Avatar
    Personal Assistant VS Task-specific assistant. Or 'worse', VS 'I have to do everything myself' :P Home/Alexa-like systems are just the Assistants we got on our phones springing out into our homes. They won't do everything, but it's a nice balance to have in-between. For more specialized things like what you seem to need for home automation, they can act as an intermediary, but they are not meant to be the ultimate home automation kits, because that's not their main focus. You said it yourself, they deal in data.
    09-18-2017 03:01 PM

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