Google Assistant bug breaks voice control on smart home devices

The Internet has definitely made the world a smaller place and the Internet of Things has made our houses even smaller. Of course, there are risks involved in putting all or even most of your smart home eggs in one basket, be it an Internet basket or some smart home platform, especially when that basket suddenly breaks. That's the reality that some smart homeowners are now finding themselves in when Google Assistant suddenly turned their smart appliances a tad hard of hearing.

To be clear, Google Assistant on Google Home is still able to control those smart devices connected to it. That's especially true if you have a touch screen display to manually control those devices, like on a smartphone or a Nest Hub. The problem starts, however, when voice is your only option.

Users are reporting all over the Internet that they are unable to get Google Assistant to do anything related to their smart home devices, no matter what kind of device it is. They all get the same error message, informing them that the device hasn't been set up yet. But, of course, those have been configured already but there's no convincing Google Assistant otherwise.

The good news is that Google is apparently already aware that something's amiss and is advising users to send in diagnostic reports, ironically via voice control. The bad news is that there isn't a fix yet, officially or otherwise, and users will have to resort to manual controls until then.

This wouldn't be the first time some server-side problem pretty much rendered smart home devices unusable and it probably won't be the last either. Given how prevalent IoT products are becoming, it behooves manufacturers and service providers to improve their systems and, if possible, provide failsafes and fallbacks for such instances.