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How Alexa and Google Home will revolutionise your home

Virtual voice assistant. These three words will be repeated often in the coming months. Though the invention is not new, the objective of conquering your home is.

Though Apple has been trying to do so for years, it is now when it seems as though virtual home assistants could start to be commonplace in all homes. Amazon and Google, with a considerably less “closed” philosophy than that of Apple, are working toward this being true.

Alexa, made by Amazon, and Google Home are entering what we know as artificial intelligence. However, in order to have a totally connected house, it's not enough to just have one of these two devices (or the HomePod from Apple). You will also need a significant number of intelligent home appliances, that is, connected to the internet (such as the refrigerator, washing machine, light bulbs, locks, blinds, etc.).

Today, there is no way to have a true smart home without spending a fair amount on technology. But for a modest price, you can have new devices that help you to optimise the energy you consume. Your will notice it on your bills.

“Today, you cannot have a truly smart home without spending on technology.”

How does Alexa work?

Alexa is a virtual assistant that is in your home in the form of a wireless speaker that functions like the Trojan horse.

Amazon has developed several products that interact with Alexa (watches, plugs, security cameras, microwaves, etc.) and many brands have launched their skills (somewhat similar to cell phone apps).

Having a “skill” makes it possible to interact with Alexa in that specific environment (for example, a Spotify skill, Netflix skill, etc.). Endesa now has a skill on Alexa that allows you to ask questions about your contracts and bills in order to better control and understand them.

 

How does Google Home work?

Never one to fall behind, Google has its own intelligent assistant. For it to function, you must connect to a network, download the app and follow the steps indicated to sync Google Home with the other devices we have at home.

Alexa and Google Home function in the same way as Siri and Bixby (Samsung’s assistant). You just need to ask something and the small device will give you the answer. However, they are not limited to telling us the time of day or playing the exact song on your mind.

 

How do virtual assistants help you save energy?

Though they may have undeniable potential, today these are the main functions of the intelligent home available from the different assistants (always assuming that the home appliance involved can connect to the internet):

  • Control the heating and air conditioning: you can determine the temperature you want your house to be, at all times of the day. This way, you save energy and money.
  • Turn lights on and off: how many times have you left your home and left a light on? If your light bulbs are “intelligent”, you will be able to control them remotely with Alexa, Google Home and other assistants. And when you are at home, they will all turn off, on or even change colour at your command.
  • Control the plugs: there are also intelligent plugs and you can turn them on and off whenever you want and need them. Alexa and Google Home allow you to programme turning on and off fans, hair straighteners, lamps and chargers, among other tools. In addition, you can discover the energy cost of that apparatus. We guarantee safety at home and extra euros in your pocket.
  • Control the television: your desires take command. You just need to speak in order to turn off, turn on, change the channel, record, etc.
“Virtual assistants are not just for asking what time it is or playing music, they can also help you to save on your electricity and gas bills.”
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