08 Oct 2018

An Installers Guide to Digital Assistants

If you haven’t heard of Alexa, Siri or the Google Assistant yet, where have you been?

Voice controlled home automation is the latest trend to take the smart technology world by storm, with hubs such as Amazon Echo exploding onto the market and offering customers a convenient way to control all their smart devices – including connected thermostats – with simple, spoken commands.

What are they?

Thanks to the buzz around the smart home, nearly every tech company has released their own version of a home automation hub. The two market leaders are Amazon and Google with their respective Echo and Home devices. 

Digital assistants are also built into several smartphones and tablets, such as Apple’s Siri which comes with modern iPhones and iPads.

Rather than using multiple apps, people are increasingly favouring voice control to streamline their smart home experience. Digital assistants listen out for commands and act upon them accordingly. For instance, a user can call upon their assistant to change their temperature, fix a date in their diary, or even add items to a shopping list with just a few simple requests. This video shows some of ways that Amazon Echo and Google Home work with Honeywell smart thermostats.

There’s also IFTTT (If This, Then That) which is a free, web-based application which can be used on both iOS and Android devices. It enables users to create their own simple automation processes – known as applets – based on a series of conditions.

What does this mean for me?

As these products become more popular, they will begin to influence homeowners’ decisions when purchasing thermostats and other smart home technology. Ultimately, they will turn to you for advice on product selection as well as for installation assistance. The ability to talk confidently about how connected smart thermostats work with these products is a great way of introducing and upselling them to customers.

Where can I learn more?

Online resources as well as specialist manufacturer training courses are available to learn more about home hubs and connected controls in general. Our connected course not only covers technical aspects of installing the product range, but also where they fit in the world of the smart home.

As well as training and desk research, it’s advisable to speak with homeowners about their lifestyles and heating requirements before quoting for a job. Then you can recommend a thermostat that is not only compatible with their smart hub, but also one that suits their needs. Job done!

In a world of home automation, the opportunities to upsell smart thermostats are more apparent than ever. Presenting yourself as the smart expert can help take your business to new levels – why not jump on board?

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