Everything you need to know about Voice Assistants

Today, voice assistants are everywhere, integrated into many devices we use daily. Smartphones, computers, smart speakers, and security equipment now use an array of intelligent integrations for specific features using this innovative technology.

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Overview

Voice assistants use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice recognition to anticipate your every need and take action when needed. You can turn off the lights, play music, and arm/disarm your security system by simply saying a wake word or command.

 

Smart speaker usabilitySmart speaker usability

As voice assistants become more robust, their efficiency will grow, delivering the result the user is looking for. They can answer simple questions like the capital of Delaware or accomplish more complex tasks such as turning on your smart oven to heat tonight’s dinner. It is fast becoming the quintessential luxury for any smart home. It soon will mature into a must-have everyday commodity.

But while it may seem simple to ask a smartphone or speaker to set a birthday reminder or call grandma, the technology behind it is far more complex. In this article, we hope to shine some light on how voice assistance works and how they relate to home security systems in general.

 

What is voice assistance?

A voice assistant is a digital assistant that uses voice recognition, speech synthesis, and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to provide a service through an application. They listen to specific voice commands to perform functions requested by the user or return relevant information.

Voice recognition is a crucial ingredient in a voice assistant. It works by taking an analog signal from the user’s voice and changing it into a digital signal. The computer will attempt to match this signal to words and phrases in a pre-existing database to understand its intent. This way, when specific commands are utter by the user, the voice assistant can return relevant information by listening to keywords and filtering out ambient noises.

You can access your voice assistant through your smartphone, tablet, or a smart speaker by activating them with specific command words. Smart speakers are voice-commanded devices with an integrated voice assistant that enables users to do various tasks, just like your smartphone.

Different manufacturers use distinct voice recognition systems. For example, Amazon uses Alexa as its own voice assistant. In contrast, Apple uses its Siri, and Google Home has its Google Assistant schemes for its smart speakers and smartphones.

Many security companies now offer smart devices with built-in voice recognition technology to access the pre-program options. You can execute many different commands to manage your security system like arm/disarm the alarm, lock the doors, and watch your cameras’ live streaming.

Most voice assistants combine different approaches to carry out any job the user requires. They can be knowledge-oriented or task-oriented, depending on the needs and undertakings the user demands.

 
Voice assistant can also be referred to as a Smart Assistant, Intelligent Personal Assistant, Virtual Digital Assistant, or Automated Personal Assistant.

The knowledge-oriented approach uses analytical data to help users fulfill a task. It centers on utilizing online databases to complete their assignment. For example, when a user asks for an internet search, like “what is the nearest taco restaurant?”. It will use online databases to provide relevant results, showing the closest restaurants with the highest search results, and display published texts on related web pages. It will look for information instead of working together with other apps to complete tasks.

A task-oriented approach integrates with other apps to complete what the user needs. It does not require an extensive online database since it uses the knowledge of other installed applications. An example of this is asking the voice assistant to set smart lights to turn on at 7 p.m. every day. The assistant will communicate with the lighting app to open and schedule the timer and share it back to the user. It will work collectively with the other apps to deliver the requested task.

Even though it seems like a futuristic movie, voice-activated assistants and home automation are now part of our reality. This technology is widely available on many smart products. From smart speakers to security systems and intelligent refrigerators, they change the way households go about their everyday lives.

 
Make sure your alarm system can’t be disarmed through voice commands. It could be dangerous if there’s an intruder around, and he says, "disarm the security system."

Just imagine, you are already in bed, tucked in nice and warm, when you remember that you left the security system off. You can arm it by merely saying, “OK Alexa, arm my security system.” Or suppose you are in the middle of cooking dinner for your boss and can’t find an easy dessert recipe. You can call out, “Hey Google, what is the easiest recipe for a chocolate mousse?” and presto!

 

The benefits of Voice Assistants

There are tons of uses for calling upon a voice assistant. It is becoming an essential part of our daily life ever since smartphones and tablets now have more skills and abilities than before. But as mobile software has grown more complex, the screen sizes have stayed relatively the same. It leads to annoying user experiences, making them switch to voice interfaces.

People have gotten used to typing on their small smartphones’ screens. Using voice commands will always be a quicker and more natural way to get things done. For instance, when you are driving down the highway and want to change your music, you should not use the touch screen. You simply say, “play my road trip playlist,” and you are good to go. You won’t be distracted from the road, leading to a much safer driving experience.

Voice assistants have a quick learning curve, using your conversation and routines to get some tasks done. It is a much faster way than learning how to use a device, reading all the instructions, and remembering how to schedule specific tasks. With broader device integration, you can now use voice commands to manage most smart products, like appliances, thermostats, and locks.

Through voice assistance, you can turn on and off connected smart devices or check the weather for tomorrow’s family trip. You can ask the assistant to search for lyrics to your favorite song while you have your hands full, making supper for your kids. You can even let the pizza delivery guy inside your home while tending your garden in the back, all with a simple wake word.

In a nutshell, you can achieve everything you type on your phone by talking to the Voice Assistant. They are a fantastic widget that helps manage the performance of home security systems. Voice assistants provide smart solutions for many DIY and preset alarm systems, making them more user-friendly. And with new technology developing every day, anything is possible!

The downsides of Voice Assistants

As voice assistants gain popularity, some customers may have doubts about using them. Their issues may include the price of smart speakers or more significant concerns about a breach of privacy and security. Others think that their smartphones have all the functionality they need, so why rock the boat? It will come down to your preferences and how you interact with technology.

Privacy is one of the most significant concerns among smart speaker and voice assistant users. The devices are always listening, waiting for a wake word to start running. Once it is activated, it begins to record audio clips that go to a server to be processed and generate a response.

But smart speakers and assistants do not record until they are “awakened.” They record everything you say, removing background noise to pinpoint the commands that make them begin recording. Rest assured that even though they are always listening, they are only on “stand by” mode waiting for the right words to start working.

Plus, users are worried about what happens to those recordings. Big companies like Amazon and Google do not release any client information, as it is regarded as a very private subject. The use of data by law enforcers to search for patterns or illegal activity that can violate privacy laws is one issue lawmakers face. They are working hard to keep up with innovative technology that keeps changing by the day.

Another drawback is the security aspect. Customers are overly concerned about hackability, even though the companies that make voice assistants ensure they communicate with their servers using encrypted connections.

You can “train” the voice assistant to respond only to your voice. But some of them usually react to any nearby voice or a similar pitch as yours. On the flip side, software programming is continuously updated to improve and avoid these types of situations. Over time, voice assistants will get better and smarter.

 
It is recommended to assign a PIN number or password to access your voice assistant to avoid potential risks.

Your naughty nephew can mess up your contacts, set an early morning alarm for Sunday, or any other intrusive mischief he can come up with. Some voice assistants allow setting PIN confirmations to avoid this kind of occurrence. It is an incredibly wise option, especially for online voice shopping.

Another critical aspect to take into consideration is accuracy. Have you ever asked your voice assistant to tell you about a cooking match taking place downtown and got a crazy answer like a corking watch? Well, that is because they don’t always understand what we are asking.

It could be that the AI hasn’t yet learned how to perform the task you asked, or maybe it has to do with how we speak. It could get really annoying to wake the assistant again and rephrase the question. Remember, you are not having a two-way conversation with a real person, so they don’t ask follow-up questions.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology is an ever-changing business, looking to make our lives simpler and more comfortable. As voice assistants evolve, so does the way people interact with them.

Think back a couple of years to a time when you opened your browser and did an internet search, only to be surprised by thousands of strange and unrelated results. Today, you only need to activate your voice assistant and ask a particular question. The search engine will understand not only the context but also the purpose of your search. Sometimes it almost feels like it is reading your mind!

As you know by now, voice assistants can help with basic tasks, like schedule office meetings, make calls, turn smart devices on/off, and tell you the weather forecast for the week. Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of the most popular intelligent personal assistants. By default, the wake words needed for each company are the standard on each of their devices.

Voice assistance has taken over our smartphones, tablets, and smart speakers. The security industry took notice and developed innovative apps that control your smart home via mobile phone. They have worked side by side with voice technology to finally integrate them into their security systems.

 
Get devices from one brand, or as few brands as possible, so you don’t have to deal with numerous applications for each one.

Today, you can unlock your home, adjust the thermostat, and play your favorite song, and so much more, by merely waking up your voice assistant. Let’s dig in on the most popular voice assistants and see what they are all about.

 

Apple HomeKit and Siri

HomeKit is Apple’s platform for its smart home product line. It is the key software that makes Apple integration possible. Apple HomeKit comes embedded into every iPhone, iPad, and electronic appliance the company makes. You can download the Home app for free and pair it up with the HomeKit compatible devices. This way, you can manage all your smart products from your iPhone and iPad.

You can also control your Apple smart home with the immensely popular Siri voice assistant. Created in 2010, Siri has become an essential part of the Apple ecosystem, becoming a household name and even mentioned in movies and TV shows. It helps bring in all Apple devices and applications to interact with one another with simple voice commands.

Siri will be happy to lock your front door, check the thermostat, or turn off the lights, all in one place. You can pair many Apple HomeKit devices to your iPhone almost immediately after you install them. And with the simple wake word “Siri,” you will manage all your connected Apple devices. You can assign specific devices to rooms in your house and create custom “scenes” for the quintessential home automation experience.

For instance, you can customize your morning scene by asking Siri to do it for you. Uttering the command “Good morning” will automatically open all your window shades, turn on the coffee machine, and play soothing sounds to wake you up.

Adding third-party devices like smart lights, cameras, and locks is not such a challenging job as in previous times since most of them now support Siri. Apple does require third-party companies to go through the MFi certification program to apply for integration with Siri. Outside developers can’t create Siri-powered integrations for their products without this certification. It is the main reason why HomeKit hasn’t advanced as fast as its competitors.

 
If you buy new products that are not from the “Apple store,” make sure they are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit or Siri Assistant.

If you want to control your smart home remotely when you are away from home, you will need a HomeKit hub. The hub will work as the brains of the operation, relaying the information back from your sensors to your iPhone.

Here comes the hiccup: Apple does not provide a standalone HomeKit hub. As an alternative, you can choose between three high-end devices: An Apple TV, the HomePod smart speaker, or a dedicated iPad.

You are free to choose amongst these three devices and see which one best matches your needs and budget. The Apple HomePod is kind of steep for a smart speaker. Still, you can look for great deals or seasonal discounts and find the speaker on sale. If you choose to use an iPad, make sure that it is always plugged in and turned on. It will be set aside exclusively to manage your devices.

The Apple TV route can be a great option, even though it does not come cheap. But you can make the most out of it. Apart from being a fantastic streamer, you can watch video feeds from your security cameras using the remote’s voice commands.

Although HomeKit does not have the broadest smart home product range, many renowned brands have accessories compatible with the Home app and Siri. Apple announced that new features are coming, adopting new iOS capabilities and software into its smart home ecosystem.

 

What works best with HomeKit

It is no surprise to say that what works best with HomeKit is… an Apple product! It may not be a popular choice, but Apple users know that they are in for the long run… And the company won’t disappoint them! It is always developing new smart home devices and features to compete in today’s security market. Plus, it is working towards incorporating more third-party gadgets to please their hard-core Apple fans.

Abode and Apple alliance

Aside from many smart products and accessories that are clearly supported by HomeKit, Apple has announced its alliance with its first DIY security system. HomeKit is now available as an update to Abode’s iota home security system.

Utilizing HomeKit, you can now add the Abode iota system into the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and HomePod. You will be able to comfortably manage your entire smart home from a single app. Keep in mind that you can ask Siri for your system’s status, but it cannot be used to arm or disarm the system.

You will have to jump into the Home app to arm and disarm the alarm when receiving notifications from triggered sensors. You can also view live streams from the iota’s built-in camera without leaving the app.

You can use home automation recipes to create rules that include the abode security system. For example, establish an automation scene that disarms your iota and turns on your front porch lights when the garage door is opened. Bring all your Abode alerts and controls together into the Apple Home app, so you can easily manage the entire home automation in one place.

 

Amazon Echo and Alexa

Created by Amazon in 2014, the Echo is a smart speaker designed for users to immerse themselves in the world of home automation. It uses the Alexa platform to let you interact with the Amazon ecosystem and perform an ever-growing range of tasks.

 

Amazon smart speakerAmazon smart speaker.

The Echo uses voice recognition that converts the recordings into commands that Alexa Voice Service (AVS) can interpret and execute. It is a fully programmable service that can work with a plethora of smart devices and do a wide variety of tasks.

 
Alexa is the virtual assistant that “lives inside” the Amazon Echo speakers.

Many home security companies are Alexa-friendly, making it so much easier to control your alarm system. Amazon has enabled a Security Panel Controller framework that grants control over smart devices using voice commands. Simply use the wake word “Alexa,” followed by an order, and watch your new virtual assistant take care of everything.

You can choose from oodles of Alexa skills on Amazon’s website, and even download brand-specific ones for free. Be mindful that some of them could have add-on upgrades at an extra cost. You can program Alexa to tell you about today’s weather after sounding the morning alarm, set daily reminders, or track your Domino’s order. The best part, it can all be accomplished with simple voice commands.

Using Alexa, you can arm and disarm your security system or require specific modes, like home, away, or nighttime. Some security systems allow you to disarm them by saying a PIN code. But if you don’t want to shout your PIN for your neighbor to hear, you can manually enable disarming by voice. It will identify an Alexa-specific voice recognition code, eliminating the many security complications that could arise.

With an Echo speaker or an Alexa-powered device (like Amazon Fire sticks and tablets), managing your smart home becomes a breeze. You can interact with your security cameras via TV, turn on your robot vacuum, and start your dishwasher cycle by waking up the voice assistant. You could ask Alexa if you left the garage door open, and if you did, she would close it for you!

 
You can change the wake word “Alexa” for three alternate wake words: Amazon, Computer, or Echo. It can be quite helpful, especially if you have someone in your house by the name Alexa!

Alexa can also work with many other technologies in your home. Alexa can stream music, order items from the Amazon store, and integrates smoothly with If This Then That (IFTTT) technology.

Amazon is adding more features every day, and now they go beyond expectations. A smart programmer can build their own skills using a Raspberry Pi $30 computer. Once authorized by Amazon, you can make Alexa control things that are not on the supported list. Plus, anyone can use the AVS for free to build a home-made Echo.

Don’t get the wrong idea, Amazon has its reasons for these “selfless” acts. It is in the best interest of the company that others build this service into their smart devices. This way, products with built-in Alexa can be used to buy more stuff from Amazon. And if Amazon decides to charge for the AVS or close it down completely, you can be left with a useless device. Hence, you will need to buy new appliances to get the job done.

One remarkable advantage that makes the company stand out from its competitors is pricing. Echo speakers come with a wide price range, going for $30 up to $100 or more, making them exceptionally accessible to the average buyer. You can even find fantastic deals on refurbished Echo speakers and Fire TV Cube on the Amazon website.

However, the main drawback is connectivity. Alexa and AVS depend on your internet service to work. If your connection is slow or crashes, your Echo speakers will become temporarily offline, and of course, Alexa won’t be able to respond.

But rest assured, home automation can be best experienced with multiple gadgets interlinked into one ecosystem, all working in harmony thanks to Alexa.

 

What works best with Amazon Echo

Amazon Alexa capabilities are available to many security companies that, as you may have noticed, are already using it. Most of the leading companies have a robust Amazon Alexa integration with their equipment, making their systems very user-friendly.

Obviously, not all companies provide the same features or have extensive product catalogs. Home-security.com has listed some of the highlights that the leading security companies have to offer using Amazon Echo and Alexa.

Ring and Alexa integration

Since Ring and Alexa are both owned by Amazon, Ring alarm has a lot of Alexa-compatible functions. They offer some of the best video doorbell cameras in the industry, working effortlessly with Amazon Echo speakers and Alexa voice assistant.

With Ring camera integration, you can ask Alexa to answer the front door, review previous footage from the camera, and monitor the battery life in all your devices. Adding Ring skills to your Amazon Alexa, you control other devices like smart lights and locks.

You can even create smart home automated routines with a simple voice command. Say out loud, “Alexa, good night,” and it can trigger a sequence of events. Alexa will turn off the lights, activate the motion sensor in the kitchen, and even lock the doors. You can do lots of things when you have products from the same company running seamlessly together in the same smart home environment.

ADT and Amazon bundle deals

Typically, when you want to buy security equipment, you need to talk to an agent on the phone. It could take some time to get things done, and sometimes it is hard to get the help you need over the phone. However, Amazon sells an ADT Alexa home security bundle on their website, simplifying the entire process. With the latest investment from Google on ADT systems, anything is game.

It combines an Alexa speaker with ADT equipment, and both companies are entirely in sync regarding app compatibility. With ADT, you can ask Alexa directly to disarm your alarm, dim the lights, or lock the front door. It makes for a great team in terms of security company-voice assistant performance.

Frontpoint and camera manageability

Security companies offer many different security cameras that might be motion activated. But only a few companies like Frontpoint let you access them with Alexa. Frontpoint has one of the best Alexa skills in the market, allowing you to control the camera through this virtual assistant.

You can ask Alexa to pan the camera or to record a clip with the living room camera. It delivers a fantastic home automation integration, better than most DIY camera brands. And with Frontpoint’s easy DIY-install security system, the appeal of Alexa’s skills is becoming irresistible.

Vivint and thermostat control

Vivint home security is a high-quality option for a professionally installed security system known for its sleek and modern design. Vivint Home can incorporate many smart devices, such as Amazon Echo and the famous Nest Thermostat. It gives you more home automation functions, granting control over your smartphone using Alexa’s voice assistant.

Depending on which Vivint plan you have, you will get access to some cool Alexa skills. You can tell Alexa to lower the thermostat or set the AC to a specific temperature. The best part is that you don’t have to ask Alexa to “ask Vivint” to get the job done.

Many security systems are limited in their integration with Alexa’s skills. A simple message can turn into an awfully long sentence, like “Alexa, tell Vivint to lock the front door.” But with Vivint smart home, you can speak directly to the system.

Honeywell built-in base station

Honeywell Smart Home security is one of the most straightforward Do-It-Yourself installation and monitoring systems in the industry. It is a highly customizable alarm system that incorporates many innovative features.

The system includes an all-in-one base station that comes with some unique features. It has a motion-sensing camera, integrated speakers, smart home integrations, and built-in Amazon Alexa. And with the Enhanced Deterrent feature that plays sounds to make it seem like someone is home, makes for a fantastic smart home device.

You can ask Alexa to dim the lights, arm your alarm system, or turn up the thermostat without lifting a finger. Honeywell’s base station can change your system’s modes and automation options with simple voice commands. It is a perfect match for first-time customers. It offers user-friendly integration with Amazon Alexa and the flexibility to build your system with more devices over time.

Scout and emergency services

Even though it has limited equipment selection, Scout home security plays exceptionally well with many third-party smart home devices. It has complete Alexa integration, allowing you to oversee the entire Scout system using your voice assistant.

Using an Amazon Echo device, you can talk directly to Alexa and ask her to arm your system, turn on the siren, or check a specific sensors’ status. But the one feature that stands out is the ability to call for help.

You simply tell your system to panic and automatically calls your emergency contacts without opening an app or picking up your phone. It makes it relatively easy for everyone in your home to access, from elderly family members with any physical challenge to kids or people who live alone. As long as you can speak loud enough, Scout and Alexa have your back.

Protect America and third party integrations

Protect America is famous for its smooth third-party integration, working with a myriad of smart devices from renowned companies like Alarm.com, Kwikset, and Trident. The best part: all these devices can be managed remotely through the Protect America app or voice-controlled Alexa.

Even though Protect America is not the original proprietor to many of their own devices, working with so many third-parties allows for fantastic home automation. Add in Alexa voice assistant into the mix, and you can quickly turn your house into the quintessential smart home experience.

With voice commands, you can arm your system, check its status, and control connected devices. And since Protect America supports IFTTT, you can create incredible automated scenes. For example, you can program your alarm system to activate after everybody leaves the house at a specific time in the morning. Or you can customize it to light up the living room as soon as you enter the house after work.

 

Google Home and Google Assistant

Unveiled initially in 2012, Google Now was Google’s first intelligent personal assistant. It could answer the user’s queries, make recommendations, and predict what they want based on the search habits. The answers would return in the form of a search result page on Google.

 

Google Home MiniGoogle Home Mini

But the company had lots of catching up to do, as Siri and Alexa were already dominating the voice-control market. So, in 2016, the company launched Google Assistant as the next generation of Google Now.

Google Assistant came with most of the same features as Google Now, except for one significant improvement. Google Assistant had a two-way conversational interaction. It gives answers in the form of natural sentences with a friendlier interface.

Just like Alexa has Amazon Echo, the Google assistant has its own smart speaker: Google Home. Some people get both terms mixed up, interchanging them constantly. In simpler words, Google Home is the physical hardware, and Google Assistant is the software that allows voice control over your phone and smart devices.

The company’s new products are now named after Nest to lessen the confusion between these two creations. Even though the Google Home speakers are still advertised, Google Nest Mini is the “official” smart speaker with built-in Google Assistant.

 
You can call upon Google Assistant by two wake words: “Hey Google” or “OK Google.”

Using a compatible device like a smartphone or smart speaker, you can ask a question, and Google Assistant will quickly answer. It will decode your voiced instructions through the same technology that powers Google’s exceptional search engine.

Google’s assistant is well known for its fast response time, providing a direct answer. It also delivers the top search results so you can learn more about your inquiry. It can control loads of compatible devices like smartphones, speakers, smart TVs, and even cars with Android Auto.

Although Amazon Alexa may possess more third-party skills and smart home options, Google Assistant can hold its own. It makes it up with its fantastic Google account integration, providing a more detailed answer to your queries.

Plus, Google Assistant stands out from its competitors with its core skills. Apart from basic abilities like setting reminders or talking about the weather, Google Assistant can handle up to three actions in a single voice command. It can make your daily chores a much easier task. You can’t deny that saying, “Hey Google, set the alarm for tomorrow morning at am and turn off the lights” is a quicker way than making two separate requests on Alexa.

 
To combine up to three different tasks into your Google Assistant, all you have to do is say “and” between each command.

In contrast with Alexa, Google’s smart home routines are very simplistic. Amazon has the advantage of being a massive manufacturer of Alexa-enabled devices, such as home appliances and a wide variety of smart speakers. In comparison, Google is still a small-scale electronics manufacturer.

But don’t get the wrong idea. The Google Smart home platform that allows users to connect to thousands of third-party devices improves by the minute. It can now control smart products like phones, cars, speakers, and yes, home security systems. Many security companies are now compatible with Google Assistant and Google Home to bring a smoother smart home experience.

There is a big buzz surrounding Google and the ADT security provider’s latest alliance. They have joined forces to boost their position on the smart home market, planning to unveil joint products in 2021. With Google’s learning capabilities and ADT’s smart home devices, it will be interesting to see how the competition reacts to this power couple in years to come.

 

What works best with Google Home

Voice control is a popular option that smart homeowners love. You can control many smart products with intuitive voice commands from your Google Assistant, granting control over locks, lights, and home security systems.

Interacting with your smart home just got better, thanks to new Google integrations with many third-party companies. You can enable your alarm system by asking Google Assistant, “Hey Google, talk to Alarm.com” or “OK Google, lock the back door.” The commands available will depend on the integration between the company and Google’s task. Here are the most compatible home security companies that work best with Google products.

Nest and Google integration

Among the leading home security companies, Nest Secure has the best Google product integration. Needless to say, it is to be expected, as they are both owned and developed by the same company. Nest’s smart home ecosystem has now built-in Google Assistant into its home base.

You can talk directly to Google assistant and manage Nest products like cameras, locks, and thermostats (without asking Google to ask Nest to do something). You can also set routines to increase efficiency. Simply say a specific command, and your Google Assistant will do numerous things at the same time.

With Google Assistant, you can create a “bedtime” scene that can put your phone on silent, adjust the thermostat, and arm the security system. It can also play many notifications from your Nest products, unlike other companies that won’t interact directly with the voice assistant.

Brinks and Google monitoring

Maybe you didn’t know it, but Nest Secure professional monitoring is provided by Brinks Security. They partnered up to provide four great monitoring options. Two of them use Nest Secure devices, and the other two use Brinks’ traditional security equipment.

Besides, Brinks bundles come with Alarm.com equipment, which also works great with Nest products. No matter which way you go, Brinks is well-matched with Google Assistant.

For example, you can connect your cameras and ask Google Assistant to show you saved clips or to turn on the downstairs AC. Additionally, Brinks is compatible with countless Z-wave devices. You can add smart outlets and turn on your coffee maker with a simple voice command.

Link Interactive and third party integration

Link Interactive security systems are best recognized for their extraordinary flexibility in adding third-party devices. Link Interactive System integrates smoothly with other smart home technology, such as Z-wave and Nest products. The company joined forces with the renowned Alarm.com corporation to bring customizable smart home solutions.

What’s more, Alarm.com and Google announced the integration of Google Home, allowing their equipment to respond to many voice-activated commands using Google Assistant. And since Alarm.com manufactures many Link Interactive devices, it will help turn your home into a full automation experience.

SimpliSafe easy-to-use equipment

SimpliSafe Security Systems are designed to be, for lack of a better word… simple. They deliver some of the most straightforward systems to set up for home security. The company also offers a plethora of newly redesigned equipment packages and refurbished packs, making it a very affordable option.

Besides their budget-friendly prices and easy installation, SimpliSafe gives the option to custom build your security system from the ground up to adapt your security wish list. Another thing that makes the company stand out from the pack is its no-lengthy contract agreement policy. You can turn the monitoring on and off and cancel at any time!

The downside is that SimpliSafe voice-controlled skills are considered basic. You might have to use a separate app to control other smart devices independently from the SimpliSafe system.

Using Google Assistant, you can set your alarm system to a home or away mode, lock up your smart locks, and ask about the system’s status. But this doesn’t stop SimpliSafe from being one of the best security companies out there.

 

Odd men out

Voice Assistants have now become an essential part of home security and how we relate to smart devices. With simple voice commands, we can now lower the shades, turn on the TV, and even answer the front door without getting up from the couch!

But not all smart devices play well with others. Some security systems have no smart home integration at all. It does not mean they are a terrible option; They just like to make their own rules. They provide innovative and unique alternatives to home security. Let’s see what they have to offer.

 

Deep sentinel and Artificial Intelligence

Deep Sentinel is one of the newest residential home security systems in the market, offering a single starter package and a monthly surveillance subscription. It combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a 24/7 human monitoring plan for a one-of-a-kind safety setup.

The Deep Sentinel system includes an AI hub, three outdoor cameras, and a monitoring service provided by trained experts. It doesn’t have any other devices or sensors since the cameras are the ones that mainly monitor your home. By design, it eliminates the need for any additional security components, hence the no-smart home integration policy.

The system is active from the moment you set everything up. And because it is directly integrated with the LiveSentinel service, you don’t need to arm or disarm it every time you leave your home. You can always use the Deep Sentinel app to review video footage, access features, and contact customer support.

This doesn’t mean that the system can’t co-exist with other smart home devices. Clearly, they can work side-by-side, but acting as two different systems. Bear in mind that Deep Sentinel is an expensive security system, so adding indoor cameras or smart locks may turn out to be a costly setup to have. And with no Alexa or Google Assistant, it may not be what you are looking for.

Xfinity and X1 Voice Remote

You probably recognize Comcast as one of the largest Internet service providers in the nation, now venturing into home security with its Xfinity Home security system. With Comcast complete home integration, you can bring together television, internet, home automation, and home safety under one roof.

Xfinity Home is an extremely flexible system with exceptional home automation capabilities. You can integrate the most popular third-party devices into your home system through their “Works with Xfinity” program.

You can control many of these smart devices using the Xfinity app, and even create recipes using IFTTT technology. You can set your thermostat to a cozy temperature and set your system to turn on your lights at sunset, so you arrive in a warm, well-lit home.

The main drawback: it has no Z-wave integrations or virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Home. But the lack of voice assistant integrations is evened out by its X1 Voice Remote that can control your entire Xfinity Home ecosystem.

If Xfinity is your TV provider, you can take advantage of its voice command technology. You can turn off the lights on your bedroom or see live streams from your cameras right into your TV screen without getting out of bed. Just press the button and say “Xfinity Home, show me the front door camera” into the X1 Voice Remote and voila!

But in case you missed it, yes, you must press a button. Unlike Alexa and Google assistants’ hands-free experience, you have to push the mic button on the remote before giving the voice command. That could get a little frustrating, especially if you have your hands full of grocery bags, and you need to disarm your alarm. You can still control the smart devices connected to the system using this nifty remote control, which is cool.

 

Although some Voice Assistants work better with certain smart product brands and security systems, most of them are relatively well integrated with more than one.

Here is a chart that can help you get a clearer view of what security companies work with each Voice Assistant:

Security Companies Apple Siri Amazon Alexa Google Assistant
Abode Yes Yes Yes
ADT No Yes Yes
Brinks No Yes Yes
Deep Sentinel No No No
Frontpoint No Yes Yes
Honeywell No Yes Yes
Link Interactive Yes Yes Yes
Nest No No Yes
Protect America No Yes No
Ring Alarm No Yes Yes
Scout No Yes Yes
SimpliSafe No Yes Yes
Vivint No Yes Yes
Xfinity Home No No No

 

Voice Assistants for Businesses

Even if they have been around for a couple of years, voice assistants are still relatively brand new technology. And as the home market for smart speakers is thriving, not so much in the business sector.

The corporate world is slowly adapting, diving into countless applications and automation services available through security companies and local providers. But voice assistants are not a very practical option in a business setting. Imagine a bunch of workers, all of them asking the voice assistant to execute a task at the same time? Mayhem! It simply won’t work.

But voice assistants can be a game-changer in specific settings. Using voice technology, you could set up automated tasks to open doors for authorized personnel, access information, and grant communication between employees in different parts of the country.

 
Make sure your security system encrypts your username, password, and other critical data. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bits algorithm is trusted by the industry for heavy-duty encryption purposes.

The problem is that many of these voice-commanded automation features are not yet available. Companies have to engineer specific skills to fulfill their needs. Most importantly, they must meet security levels that do not exist right now, like access authorization, archiving, and records management.

It doesn’t mean voice assistants can’t be of immense value in a work environment. Smart speakers can search for specific data on the web, schedule appointments, and call a client at a drop of a voice command. It can save time and keep your team focused during an important meeting. They can become the perfect virtual secretary that you were looking for.

But the security aspect becomes a significant concern for business owners. Security companies can provide state-of-the-art equipment and deliver the best monitoring options to keep the property safe. But suppose a burglar somehow gets past the alarm in your office and casually ask a voice assistant for critical data. In that case, all your security measures are rendered useless.

However, with the ever-growing number of voiced-powered devices, they will inevitably become the heart of smart offices. Today, you can control the AC, check the live feeds from the security cameras, and see if all the lights inside the office are off. Ultimately, voice assistants can revolutionize how you manage your business and be a great virtual assistant on your everyday tasks.

 

Bottom Line

Voice assistants are virtually everywhere, becoming more integrated into daily devices, like smartphones, tablets, and speakers. They even reside inside many smart devices used by the leading security companies to manage your home security. And thanks to their accessible voice commands, more and more people are using virtual assistants too.

 

Smart speaker is only the beginning.Smart speaker is only the beginning.

Big companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google are battling to provide their customers’ best smart home features. They work side by side with security companies to deliver unique features to make your life more comfortable.

When you get right down to it, voice assistants improve the functionality of a smart home, home automation, and home security systems. They integrate everything into a tool that controls the 3 ecosystems in one swift action... voice-control assistant.

You can ask your voice assistant to arm and disarm your security system, review the live feeds from your cameras, and even call for help. All three companies bring different features to the table for you to choose what works best with your lifestyle.

But which one is better? Hard to tell, since all three can help you organize your day, set up reminders, play your favorite toons, and so much more. Voice assistants can keep track of your shopping list, turn off lights, and alert you of a guest standing on your front porch.

The difference comes down on how well they interact with other smart devices, how fast their response time is, and what apps are compatible with voice assistants. But in the end, all of them present almost the same advanced tasks for our daily routines. Voice assistants are becoming an essential part of your smart home experience; Their technology is constantly evolving. And with new features developing every day… This is just the beginning!

Monica Quiros

Article Author

Last Update

September 23, 2020

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