Home Control turns Pixel’s Assistant into smart home voice remote

Chris Burns - Feb 9, 2017, 3:31 pm CST
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Home Control turns Pixel’s Assistant into smart home voice remote

As of this afternoon Google’s latest set of smartphones, Pixel and Pixel XL, have access to Google’s brand of Smart Home control. This is enabled with Google Assistant and Google Assistant’s command of “Home Control” connectivity. Users will be able to connect to devices from five brands (so far), including Honeywell, Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, and WeMo.

This new controller can be found by saying “OK Google” to the Google Pixel or Pixel XL with the newest version of the Google App and Play Services. Once Google Assistant is actively listening, the upper right-hand corner should have a set of three dots, leading to the menu of Google Assistant settings. In this menu, users will find a new item in the “Pixel” category, “Home Control”, alongside News, My Day, and Shopping List.

Inside the settings for Home Control, users can Add Devices and Add Rooms. Inside Devices, the brands listed above can be found, and through each brand a link to that brand’s user login page can be accessed. If the user logs into Philips Hue, they’ll be asked to log in to their account, then the device will attempt to connect to the Hue Bridge. This process is slightly different for each brand, as each brand has its own connecting central device.

Connecting to a Room allows the user to see a set of smart devices in self-made folders. Pre-made folder titles the user can choose from include Attic, Backyard, Basement, Bathroom, Bedroom, Deck, Den, Dining Room, Downstairs, Driveway, Entryway, Family Room, Front Yard, Garage, Guest House, Guest Room, Hallway, Kitchen, Living Room, Master Bedroom, Office, outside, Patio, Shed, and Upstairs. The user also has the ability to add their own custom-titled room.

As each room can be custom-titled, it’ll be interesting to see how Google Assistant handles users giving their rooms really strange names. The same goes for devices, though a little less so since they’ve already got names that are perfectly generous, like Lamp. Expect this update to arrive on your Pixel within the next few days. Then expect NVIDIA to come with an update not long after that, if you’re lucky.


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