A voice-activated home automation system might be the right choice for your family. You may desire to speak your way through basic household tasks, like turning on lights or locking doors, but voice control offers another crucial benefit: more efficient time management. 

Time is the thing that no one seems to have, and a  voice-controlled home automation system can be helpful to busy families. 

However, you’ll need to learn the difference between voice control and automation when choosing the  right command base for your home. 

This article will shed some light on those differences and offer options for lending your voice to your smart devices.

Voice Control vs. Automation

To determine which voice-activated home automation system might be the best for you, you should understand  that not all smart devices use voice control, and voice control doesn’t mean the same thing as automation. 

A quick overview of the difference between voice-controlled devices and automated devices:

  • Voice control device: A device that responds to a request that is spoken to it.

  • Automated device: A device that is scheduled to do something at a specific time.

A smart home, by definition, is simply one containing a network of gadgets that can communicate with one another and also with their user. Automated smart home devices are autonomous and do not require you to interact with them to carry out their functions. 

Other devices are semi-autonomous and function on minimal but continuous interaction with you, such as through voice control or via an app on your smartphone. 

If you are currently enjoying the conveniences of voice control via Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home to command basic tasks, such as brewing coffee, you will have no trouble discovering the benefits of adding Alexa to your home’s security

For example, once you have integrated a product like ADT’s smart light bulbs with your Amazon Alexa and your ADT smart home security system, you can teach Alexa to turn those lights on with vocal command in two ways. 

The first way involves teaching Alexa one of the many ADT-centric skills that can be run on most Echo devices. The second way is teaching Alexa commands relevant to your security system settings. 

For example, if you have set your ADT system’s ‘Away’ mode to include turning on designated security lighting on your house’s exterior, you can then say, “Alexa, arm ADT in ‘Away’ mode” and those lights will come on. If you’ve programmed locks, motion sensors, and cameras to activate in ‘Away’ mode, those will also engage. 

The ADT Pulse app means you can manage all of this from the palm of your hand, receiving alerts from motion sensors and video feeds as you deem fit.

Let’s say you are already in your pajamas and don’t have the energy to go downstairs to check if the garage door is closed before bed. Through voice-activated home automation when ADT is paired with Google Assistant, you can shut the garage door with just a quick sentence. 

Google Assistant organizes your home’s smart devices by names that you give them and digital rooms that you have assigned them. Once named and placed with your Google Assistant, your ADT smart locks can be controlled with an easy, “OK, Google, lock the back door.” Best of all, adding the ADT Pulse skill to your Google Home does not cost you extra.

Specific ADT Voice Features of Popular Assistants

Early on, ADT recognized that optimizing integration with voice-activated home automation, like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, could provide additional safety benefits. 

The following segments highlight specific ways that you can utilize the ADT Control dashboard to make the most out of your voice-activated home automation devices.

Alexa and ADT

You can:

  • Give your devices unique names in the ADT mobile app and then teach Alexa those names to recognize.

  • Utilize Amazon Echo devices all around your home to extend the combined capabilities of Alexa and the ADT app.

  • Integrate your ADT security system into your voice-activated home automation system by adding a new skill to Alexa. Once this is completed, the ADT app becomes responsive to your voice commands, and you can ask Alexa to control your locks, thermostat, garage door, and arm or disarm your security system.

Alexa commands you can use with ADT:

  • Security:

    • “Alexa, arm ADT in away mode.”

    • “Alexa, arm ADT in stay mode.”

    • “Alexa, disarm ADT.”

    • “Alexa, is ADT armed?”

  • Lights:

    • “Alexa, turn on the bedroom light.”

    • “Alexa, turn off the porch light.”

    • “Alexa, dim the living room lamp.”

    • “Alexa, dim the living room lamp to 25%.”

  • Locks:

    • “Alexa, lock the front door.”

    • “Alexa, unlock the kitchen door.”

    • “Alexa, is the front door locked?”

  • Thermostat:

    • “Alexa, set the kitchen temperature to 75 degrees.”

    • “Alexa, decrease the bedroom temperature.”

    • “Alexa, increase the living room temperature.”

    • “Alexa, what is the temperature in the house?”

    • “Alexa, what is my thermostat set to?”

Be sure to remember and utilize the name that you assigned to any of your voice-controlled home automation devices for optimal response in the ADT Pulse portal or the Alexa app.

ADT and Google Assistant

You can:

  • Pair Google Assistant with your ADT Pulse app to enjoy convenient command of many of your voice-activated home automation devices.

  • Utilize Google Assistant to generate names for all of your smart devices.

  • Create digital “rooms” for the smart devices associated with your Google Home and then use a single vocal command to control them all.

Google Assistant commands you can use with ADT:

  • “Hey, Google, arm the security system ‘Away.’”

  • “OK, Google, turn on the kitchen lights.”

  • “Hey, Google, turn the heat up by two degrees.”

  • “Hello, Google, lock the front door.”

  • “Hey, Google, what is the temperature of the thermostat?”

ADT and Google are continuously working together to incorporate even more voice-activated home automation choices that will keep your family safe and more connected.

Setting Up Voice Control Home Automation Systems

Connecting your voice-activated home automation devices is a simpler process than many people realize. For example, with Amazon’s Alexa, once you have set up the devices you wish to integrate via your home Wi-Fi connection, you can say, “Alexa, discover my devices” while also clicking the “Devices” tab in the Alexa app. 

Alexa will then scan your home network for devices that are compatible and have skills already in place. You can rename and group these devices and then teach Alexa the command relevant to a given device. Grouping allows you to control multiple devices with just one verbal command.

If, for any reason, you do not feel confident about navigating the voice control setup process, our committed and compassionate ADT experts will gladly assist you until you feel confident taking it from there. 

Here are a few important things to understand about your voice-activated home automation:

  • Specificity is key

  • Flexibility of IFTTT

  • Ownership of voice control

  • Compatibility with multiple devices

Be Specific with your Voice Commands

Just like with humans, the way you say things to a voice-activated home automation system can make all the difference. 

Even once set up successfully through ADT Command and a platform like Alexa, you cannot just speak out a sentence like “Turn off the lights” and get results. Specific commands spoken at an audible volume are still mandatory for success with voice control.

Flexibility of IFTTT

IFTTT gives Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana additional voice controls beyond the standard built-in ones, and this can lend great leniency to the way you design your hands-free life.

Ownership of Voice Control

Remember that voice control is optional, and you author its influence. Just because a device can be vocally governed does not mean you necessarily want it to be. If telling your speakers to play your favorite song is not as important to you as timing them to come on every day at 5 p.m., that’s OK. 

On the flip side, some of the wonders ADT Command can pull off with voice control help from Alexa or Google Assistant are pretty helpful, like geofencing, for instance.

Compatibility With Multiple Devices

The list of devices that can participate in voice-activated home automation is changing and increasing every day. Bear this in mind when you get ready to replace old devices. You will want to try to stick with devices that are served by whatever control interface (Alexa, Google, Samsung) you have already established in your home. 

ADT Command supports more than 250 devices ranging from carbon monoxide detectors to Sonos speakers and smart light bulbs. With ADT’s Command plan, the security system can merge with third-party smart home devices, including Kwikset locks, the Nest thermostat, and the Ring camera doorbell.

Also, many companies are offering updates to older models that allow them to be more automation-friendly without having to replace them yet.

Voice Command With a Plan

The precise suite of voice-activated products you need may vary as technology continues to develop, and homes are coming standard with more and more smart devices. 

Whether you want to be able to verbally arm your security system, turn on a camera, close the garage door, or set a motion sensor, ADT’s list of smart products that can pair with your command hub is wide and ever-growing. 

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