12 Smart Voice Recognition and Voice Activated Products for the Home
Welcome to our guide on smart home voice recognition products.
We are covering a range of the best of the best when it comes to smart home devices designed to elevate and enhance your life.
In this gallery, we focus on the devices that have been crafted specifically for voice interaction.
The main selling point with voice activated products is that they use one of the most natural of human behaviors to command, interact, and monitor your devices and your home itself. Speaking is something almost everyone can do, and it requires no learning curve.
When you’re free from the hassle of learning a new remote, device, or app, you no longer have to worry about programming, memorization, or any complex routines just to get your smart home devices to function properly.
We love the idea of a smart home hub that connects every one of your other devices in a seamless, central location. Adding voice control elevates this idea to a whole new level.
Imagine picking up your smartphone on your way home from work, and simply telling an app, with your own voice, that you’ll be home soon. The lights come on, the thermostat kicks up a few degrees, and the shades open to reveal a welcoming space as you pull into the driveway. This experience is just one small example of what voice activated smart home technology can do for you.
With this guide, we’ve chosen a handful of the best devices around. Each of these uses voice recognition to major effect, integrating the feature into the smart home ecosystem in a uniquely useful way.
While some of these devices are smart home hubs, designed to connect every other devices, others are singular devices that tackle a specific problem within the home. No matter the aim, each of these products hits the mark in a tangible way.
See more fantastic smart home products, check out our smart home technology ultimate guide!
The Vocca is a compact plug-and-play gadget that connects to any standard light bulb socket, turning your standard lights into a voice activated bulb. You’ll be able to turn lights on or off with only voice commands from a distance of up to 15 feet. This is perfect for times when your hands are full, or when you enter a dark room.
No more fumbling for a wall switch! The bulb, of course, still activates regularly when using the wall switch. Working straight out of the box, there’s no need for professional installation; it’s as easy as changing a light bulb. Even better: you can activate lights from your smartphone.
2. Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control
This sleek and display-friendly smart thermostat is built to listen to your voice and can learn new commands based on how you interact with it. This learning function is what elevates it beyond a mere voice control gimmick into the realm of truly smart devices. You can use simple, intuitive language to program it, saying things like, “make it four degrees warmer.” The device gets smarter over time, adding commands based on interactions with you. Even better, it offers a customizable touch screen, email alerts, weather forecasting, and wifi remote access.
3. Apple Homekit
This comprehensive smart device from Apple works through the various apps that control each of your smart home products. The device itself hides in the background, enabling these varied apps to interconnect, improving efficiency and safety.
You can use your smartphone to set your devices into concerted motion, controlling them simultaneously and ensuring a unified home environment.
Data is encrypted with HomeKit, so the only people who know when you’re setting your lights or thermostat, or even security, are the ones in your household.
The best part of this product is that you don’t need to be present for it all to work together. With control directly available on your Apple phone, you can ask Siri to, for example, set the “arriving home” scene while you’re just leaving work. Then the devices will work together to conjure the proper lighting and temperature for your arrival.
4. Voice Pod
This device is a small tabletop product that grants you hands-free control and speech feedback for your entire smart home ecosystem. Once activated, the built-in software acts upon simple speech commands to let you control any and all smart home devices. Phrases like “lights off” and “lock door” work intuitively and instantly. The device not only recognizes common phrases, but can also learn customizable commands to control anything from TV and music to lighting, thermostats, shades, and security systems.
5. Samsung Smart TV
We see a lot of standalone smart devices that are designed for voice command, but this latest TV from Samsung folds in the capability in a seamless way. You’ll be able to operate your TV without pushing a button or finding the remote. Functions such as power on/off, changing channels, accessing apps like Netflix, and more can all be performed without lifting a finger.
6. Amazon Echo
The Echo is a smart home hub that’s completely designed around your voice. Once it’s plugged in, operation is entirely hands-free. Not only can it play your music via built-in apps or Bluetooth streaming; the Echo can control other smart devices around the home, from lighting and switches to heaters or anything else you can plug in.
This seamless design means that the sleek and stylish entertainment device doubles as a central hub for your apps and devices, allowing total handsfree control of the home. With a range of compatible apps and more being added all the time, it’s only becoming more useful.
7. Ivee Sleek
The Ivee Sleek is a uniquely styled home hub that’s entirely designed around interaction with your voice. It lets you control all of your home’s connected smart devices with simple spoken commands, letting you set reminders, wakeup timers, and fetch internet content like weather and news without lifting a finger. For example, state “Okay Ivee, set the thermostat to 72 degrees,” and the device will wirelessly execute the command. It’s compatible with a range of smart devices, including Nest, WeMo, SmartThings, Hue, and more. Even better, it interacts with apps like Spotify and Uber, letting you set up a ride or program a playlist. The microphone can pick up your commands from up to 15 feet away in any direction.
8. Athom Homey
The Homey is a smart personal assistant designed to make your smart home ecosystem more user-friendly. The device takes care of the technical aspects of connecting your home so that you only deal with the funs tuff. Using natural spoken commands, you’ll be able to control every smart device connected, including TVs, stereos, thermostats, and more. The key feature here is that the Homey is designed to be multilingual, compatible with the native languages of over 1.5 billion people, including English, German, French, Dutch, and Spanish, and the list is growing. Even better, it can predict advice based on weather and other information streams, letting you know when you’ll need an umbrella, for instance.
Named after a certain famous movie computer, this HAL is a much friendlier device, allowing you the possibility of monitoring and controlling all your smart home devices with your voice, the web, and other interfaces. The automated system lets you control the lights, appliances, entertainment, security, thermostat, and more from a single smartphone app. Using either your fingers or your voice, you can ask for the latest weather reports, news, or any other information needed. If you’re on the way home, you can pick up the phone and call HAL, telling it to raise the temperature, turn on lights, or even recite your shopping list.
The Jibo uses a multitude of avenues to let you control and monitor your home and connect your smart devices. This handsome product features two high resolution cameras that recognize and track faces, capture still photos, and enables video calling, plus multidirectional microphones and natural language process to let you talk to the device from anywhere in the room. You’ll be able to command it hands-free with simple phrases, which will become more useful over time as the Jibo learns your preferences and adapts to your lifestyle.
The device is so smart, it’ll recognize you and your family members to deliver the right messages to the right people. It also uses natural cues like movement, speech, and smile detection to know when you’re posing for a picture. Even better, its tracking camera will follow you around the room, perfect for video calling hands free.
Unlike any other smart home device, Umbrela uses HomePlug technology, allowing it to establish a network using your home’s existing electrical wiring. You won’t need to drill holes or install wires to set it in motion. You’ll be able to stream video and data to any part of the house, which is not possible using standard wifi. The device integrates all elements of your smart home into a single experience, allowing for a complex set of features to be controlled simply and directly. With a network of microphones included, you’ll be able to command Umbrela using your voice, operating devices throughout the entire home.
If you’re into video games at all, you’re probably familiar with Kinect. This device connects to your Xbox One gaming system to allow total control via motion and spoken word, letting you play games in which you ARE the controller. Even more, you can operate the entire spectrum of Xbox functions with it, including cable TV, apps, and Blu-ray playback. You’ll be able to make Skype calls, switch seamlessly between apps, games, and TV, and turn the entire system on or off with a simple verbal command.