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Both kids and adults alike have fun seeing and hearing Alexa respond to voice commands. Smart Speakers with voice recognition software are all the rage right now.  Catch phrases like “Okay, Google” is the new normal – where users can simply speak to a virtual assistant to get information on weather, music, entertainment, games, travel, health and news. In addition to the Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, and Google Home, rumor has it that Samsung will shortly announce their own smart speaker competitor.

Has the future caught up with us to bring us closer to “The Jetsons” or “Star Trek” type homes where we can simply speak a command and have numerous space-age tasks being performed by household appliances? We are not quite there yet, but recent developments in technology have made a voice-controlled smart home completely attainable.

There are quite a few gadgets on the market today that can get you started on voice-controlled smart home automation. And the good news is that a lot of these devices can smarten your home without putting the squeeze on your bank account. If you would like to make a voice-controlled smart home a reality, here are some simple steps to get your smart speakers operating at full capability with some simple home integration gadgets.

A good first step to deciphering the smart home automation puzzle is to purchase a hub that is compatible with your smart speaker. While a hub is not a necessity for voice controlled devices, it does make the addition of deeper integration into your smart home ecosystem easier later on. It serves as a centralized method to control and connect your smart home devices and acts kind of like a universal remote control. There are several different hubs on the market with accompanying smart gadgets that are custom-made for “Alexa,” “Siri” or your “Google Home” device.

The next step to voice-controlled smart home automation is to figure out what devices you want to be connected. Right now there is technology to have your smart speakers turn on your lights, dim your lights, unlock your doors, turn up your thermostat, and even open your garage door. If you wanted to have your voice-controlled speakers complete the action when you say, “Set the downstairs thermostat to 72 degrees” or “Turn off the master bedroom lights” for example, you would simply need a smart thermostat and some connected LED bulbs and smart switches or outlets. Once again, always make sure that your smart home gadgets can connect with your hub and are compatible with your voice-controlled speakers.

There are lots of other smart devices on the market that can allow your voice-controlled home automation system to obey even more command functions. For example, Smart TVs can be voice-controlled to automatically stream content. However, since the voice-controlled technology is still in its infancy, not all smart speakers have this feature, and you may have to do some research on what capabilities you want, and what corresponding smart speakers have that functionality. So while you may have to sit down and do some homework if you really want to replicate “The Jetsons” Skypad, the good news is that there are many start-up tech companies launching new products all the time, and there is so much in store for your smart speakers in the near future.

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