A smart home doesn’t have to be controlled by your voice, but once you’ve used your voice to do things like turn on the heating or change the lighting, you’re going to want to do it with everything. At the moment, you have two main choices for controlling a smart home via your voice: Amazon Echo, with its Alexa assistant and Google Home, with the Google Assistant. Alexa has been around for longer and has a more mature set of ways of controlling smart home devices. Google Home is newer, arguably better looking, and has the advantage of having Google’s Assistant built-in, which makes searching for information much easier.
Echo works with a wide range of devices, including smart lighting from TP-Link, Hive and Phillips; power switches from Belkin, Wemo, and Hive; and thermostats from Nest, Hive, Netamo and many others. Google Home supports many of the same brands, including Nest, SmartThings, Phillips, and TP-Link. Usefully, it also supports Google’s own Chromecast, which, while not a smart device in itself, will be able to display information from smart devices in the future.