What is Google Home? - dummies

What is Google Home?

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House

Google Home is a personal assistant smart-hub device that connects smart devices in your home. Google Home will allow you to access music and entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and ask Google any question you can imagine.

Integrating the “OK Google” personal assistant into the device allows voice control capabilities. Simply speak a command and get the results you desire.

You will be able to ask your Google Home hub to do many tasks around your house. For example, using simple commands, Google Home can:

  • Turn on lights
  • Control smart televisions
  • Lock and unlock doors
  • Open the garage
  • Stream music to any room in the house
  • Arm and disarm your security alarm
  • Place phone calls
  • Send text messages
  • Perform internet searches
  • Set reminders
  • Take notes

Keep in mind that you will need to invest in compatible smart home devices in order to access the Google Home hub’s many features. A complete list of compatible devices will be available on the Google Home website once the product launches into the market.

Screenshot courtesy of http://home.google.com
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The Google Home device controls are easy to use. Simply connect the Google Home hub to your existing Wi-Fi network and you will immediately be able to control all compatible device. Since the device has no buttons, all functions are voice activated.

The ability to control the devices, however, can be complicated if you do not give connected devices simple network broadcast names. If you purchase any smart device, you must change the name of the device to something easy to remember and command. For example, you could say “ok Google, play music on speaker UD102496.” But, that’s difficult to remember. Wouldn’t it be easier to say: “Ok Google, play music in my bedroom.”

Which would you prefer?

Complicated commands are too convoluted to remember, especially if you have many devices with similar alphanumerical designations. Simplify your devices by assigning a location instead. This same advice goes with all connected devices. Smart light switches, garage door openers, televisions, and so on…

The most efficient way to name your devices is by room and location, and if multiple similar devices exist, then by number. For example:

  • Bedroom ceiling light
  • Bedroom fan
  • Left bedroom lamp
  • Right bedroom lamp
  • Bedroom speaker one
  • Bedroom speaker two

Once you have connected Google Home and named all applicable devices accordingly, you can start using the device with ease. Ask Google a question. Tell the Google Home hub to set a reminder on your cell phone or turn on a light. A full demo of the Google Home can be seen within the Google IO 2016 Keynote.

The Google Home hub is rumored to release in the latter part of 2016. Since it is similar to the Amazon Echo, pricing will most likely be similar as well.