Controlling devices with your voice


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Controlling devices with your voice

microphone and soundwave

What's coming up

In this activity, we’ll take a closer look at the things you can do with voice control. You’ll learn how you can use voice commands to control smart devices and even some of your favourite appliances, too!

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What is a smart device?

A smart device is any electronic device that can connect to your home Wi-Fi and which you can control with your voice, by using a smart speaker with a voice assistant.

Some smart devices look familiar, such as smart light bulbs, but they contain special components to make them work as a smart device.

Smarthome set up with smart speaker in the middle
Lamp with smart switch

What about your favourite appliance?

You can add smart functionality to your favourite appliances by using a smart switch. This lets you turn them on and off using a voice command.

For instance, you might have a favourite antique lamp that won’t take a smart bulb. But you can still plug it into a smart switch. A smart switch simply plugs into a standard power outlet in the home. You then plug your appliances into the smart switch.

What makes a smart switch smart?

A smart switch joins your home Wi-Fi and is identified as part of your smart home. You can set it up by using a smart home app on your mobile device.

smartphone controlling smart switch
Telling Google to turn on the hall lamp

Give your smart switch a name

Using a smart home app such as Google Home, you can give the smart switch a name. In this example, since we’re plugging our favourite lamp into the smart switch, we’re going to call it the Tall lamp.

We can then turn the lamp on by asking our Google smart speaker: “OK Google, turn on the tall lamp.”

Add a smart switch to other appliances

You can add a smart switch to almost anything in your home that plugs in to the wall. For instance, an electric heater, portable air-conditioner, or humidifier.

Remember, a smart switch just gives you controls for on and off, it won’t let you do anything else, such as control the speed of a fan, or turn up the temperature of a heater.

Power switch
TV with a works with Amazon Alexa sticker

Getting devices to do more

To do more sophisticated things in the home, such as playing internet movies and music to a TV, you need a model of TV that is specifically designed to carry out such tasks.

You also need to check the TV is compatible with your smart speaker’s voice assistant. For example, if you use Alexa, look for a compatibility label on the TV that says Works with Amazon Alexa.

Well done!

You’ve learned how to Control appliances with your voice, and that while a smart switch will let you turn things on and off, you need a specially designed appliance if you want to do more.

Another popular thing to do with smart devices is Listen to your favourite radio station with a smart speaker, and that’s coming up next!

woman telling google to turn omn hall lamp