Why you should consider two voice assistants for your home

I taught my dog ​​French because people yell "sit," "stay," and "go away" at the dog park, so your dog often ignores you when you say that. Choosing language or words that only your dog knows means they are more likely to hear your voice and respond over the din of the crowd. It turns out the same idea could allow multiple voice assistants to work together in your home, rather than against each other. I've been running Google Home in my home for years, and I can't count the number of times Google interacts with me every day: turning on the lights, starting the coffee maker, watering the water, locking the door, or turning on the heater. I recently invited Alexa to join a party and I'm so happy that they don't really interfere with each other and ultimately make my home more efficient and comfortable.

Why you might need two assistants

Generally speaking, it makes sense to choose an ecosystem for your hub and voice assistant. If you are an Apple user, you will choose Homekit and Siri. When it comes to Android, there's Google and Amazon , and which one to choose is mostly a matter of personal preference—most products are compatible with either one or the other. But lately, I've found a lot of products that work with Alexa but not Google, like my Brilliant wall hub and Amazon TV, and even my Samsung TV (which, I should note, comes with the Samsung voice assistant "Bixby" )," I don't like it , but you can switch to Alexa).

Also, every ecosystem likes its own products, and if you switch products, you may find that your hub doesn't quite adapt. A few years ago, for some reason, I switched from Spotify to Amazon Music, and my Google Voice Assistant wasn't willing to help me make the switch. However, Alexa will be more than excited to take on the load there. To me, it makes perfect sense to have Siri and Alexa running at the same time, since many products are proprietary to Apple or Google/Amazon.

Trigger words come into play

The voice assistant passively listens for key phrases or words and takes immediate action. My robot vacuum is listening to "Hello Rocky" and won't accept a substitute. Google asks for "OK ​​Google" or "Hey Google." Alexa just needs her name, "Alexa" or "Hey, Alexa." The good news is they won't get confused. I've never called Alexa and gotten a Google response, or vice versa. If you're feeling meta, you can ask Google to talk to Alexa and it will have the assistant ask what's going on or another Easter egg question. Alexa, on the other hand, is a master of passive aggression and won't fight back if you do. Ask Alexa for Google and it'll pretend it doesn't exist. In fact, what determines the success of multiple assistants in your home is user best practice—whether you remember to call the right assistant.

How to distribute functionality between two assistants

Given the growing number of brands now forming their own multi-system hubs, and the proliferation of standards like Matter and Thread that exist to enable cross-hub pairing, your home will likely house many multi-system hubs in the future. In all cases, it might make sense to pair anything that can be paired with each hub: this will provide backup in the event of an ecosystem or hub failure, as well as multiple ways to access those devices. The same goes for the assistants used with these centers. You can keep them separate as long as they don't get in each other's way. I use Alexa at home to listen to music and watch TV, and Google for most everything else. The accompanying automation actions performed by each hub and assistant should be contained in only one hub, to keep things running smoothly I still recommend documenting the process.