Innovation That Matters

Homey's speech-enabled automation makes it possible to talk to your house


The Netherlands' Homey is a system that uses voice recognition to enable users to simply speak orders to their home.

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The Internet of Things is determined to make smart technology take over our homes. However, user experience is likely to make or break successful systems — consumers won’t want to feel uncomfortable in their own homes. While in the past home control devices such as Ubi have used ambient lighting to deliver information to users, Homey is a system that uses voice recognition to enable users to simply speak orders to their home.

Using wifi to connect to smart appliances and digital devices out of the box, Homey can do many of the tasks that other automation hubs offer — remote control of ovens, stereos and lighting, smart heating schedules, presence detection, and more. Much like others, it also has an app that can be used as a control center as well as a way to visualize metrics such as energy use. However, the Homey hub includes a microphone array that’s used to recognize voice commands in multiple languages including English, Dutch, German, Spanish and French. Pulling a smartphone out of your pocket and finding the Homey app takes a lot longer than flipping a switch, and — according to the team behind the device — simply saying a demand out loud is even quicker. Homey will even talk back with confirmation or additional questions if users aren’t being specific enough.

Watch the video below to learn more about the device:

Developed by Netherlands-based Athom, Homey recently raised more than EUR 200,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, where the device could be pre-ordered from EUR 179. Will voice-activated homes enabled by products such as Homey become a common sight in the future?



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