Voice-controlled home automation is a high-tech new feature of smart appliances and other home equipment, such as smart thermostats.
Like any computer voice recognition tool, it can misunderstand at times. There are limits to what it can control and circumstances under which it could stop working.
However, the convenience of being able to change the temperature or lighting in your home hands-free will make it easier for you to manage your comfort and energy usage.
Carefully consider whether the disadvantages of voice-controlled home automation outweigh the advantages.
Computer Voice Recognition Messes Up
Perhaps you said “old” and the voice recognition thought you meant “cold.” Or perhaps you said “turn on at 11” and the computer interpreted the time as “seven.”
Many of us have been familiar with faulty voice recognition software for years.
Messy voicemail transcriptions and failed attempts to program driving directions might be a lasting source of aggravation.
However, like other technology, voice recognition software has gotten better with the passage of time.
Some of the frustrating programs we use are many years old. The newest technology includes voice-recognition programs that learn to adapt to particular voices and manners of speaking over time.
We also shouldn’t sell ourselves short on our own ability to adapt to using voice recognition. We can grow accustomed to speaking clearly and being regularly understood.
Potential Violation of Privacy
It may seem like an urban legend that smart devices secretly record private goings-on in our homes.
There is a bit of truth tied in with these stories, thanks to some rare circumstances that have made the news over the years.
However, like any data breach or privacy concern, these issues have been dealt with promptly on the rare occasions they have occurred.
The primary use of smart devices is convenience in everyday life, not privacy invasion.
You’re Limited to Basic Commands
Image via Flickr by czarcats
Your voice-controlled home automation system will understand simple commands, but it leaves you open to regular human errors.
For example, you might forget to program your thermostat to be off during the day when you’re at work, or for the week you’re out of town on vacation.
However, linking your home to the reminders and alarms available to you over the internet makes it less likely that you will forget to do these things.
As long as you can count on your internet connection, a voice-controlled home automation system should help you make the most out of those basic commands without overcomplicating things.
Don’t Forget the Advantages
If you focus too much on the disadvantages of voice-controlled home automation, you can forget to realize the benefits.
Voice-controlled home automation makes it so that you turn the lights or heat on even when your hands are full of groceries, or you’re fumbling with your puppy’s leash or your toddler’s hand.
Because precision in the use of energy at home will lower your electric bill, you can also consider the use of voice-controlled automation at home to be an investment in long-term energy savings.
Technologies are improving every day, so you can expect advantages to continue to grow over time.