Voice control is slowly creeping into our lives. If you have an iPhone 4S (or later model), you've already discovered Siri and may even have regular "chats" with her when you need to find a nearby restaurant, check the weather report or send a voice-to-text message while driving. Android phones have similar voice-control capabilities.
While these technologies are impressive, you still have to pick up the phone and tap the screen before you can start barking commands.
Several smart TVs can be controlled by voice. Again, very cool, but you need to be within a certain distance from the screen - or you can pick up the remote control, put it in voice mode and speak into it.
Hands-Free Home Automation
What if you could control lighting, shades, temperature, A/V entertainment and security functions throughout the house by simply talking? No wall-mounted keypads and no remote controls.
Technology demonstrated at CEDIA EXPO 2012 can do just that. Users can utter simple commands such as "lights bright" to turn on lights, "give me privacy" to close the shades or "lower temperature" to adjust the heating or air conditioning.
Voice control will also enable users to execute a string of commands with just a couple words. A "good night" command, for example, might lower shades and turn off lights and A/V gear throughout the house as well as lock the front door and arm the security system. Adding to the cool factor, you could even personalize the system by creating your own voice-command phrases.
Voice-recognition platforms are likely to take off in popularity in the coming months and years. For more on how to integrate voice control technology into your home, consult a professional. Click here for a list of CEDIA-member home technology professionals in your area.