Netatmo has announced its Smart Home Bot, a chat service which enables you to control your connected devices via texts in Facebook Messenger.
Just like voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and the like, the Netatmo Smart Home Bot recognises commands such as “set heating to 20 degrees” and lets you ask questions such as “who’s home?” and “what’s the weather like?”
However, instead of barking them to your phone, you just fire off a message via Facebook.
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It’s an interesting diversion from the notion of voice control, which has caught hold thanks in part to the raft of smart speakers hitting the market. But while users are becoming comfortable speaking to virtual assistants in the privacy of their home, in the office or on public transport is a totally different experience. Manual app control is obviously the go-to here, but for many, text based control accessible via phone or laptop could be a tad easier.
“Thanks to typed commands we provide users with greater mobility and privacy. They can now text discreetly to ensure everything is running smoothly at home,” said Fred Potter, Netatmo CEO.
The Smart Home Bot will work for Netatmo products, and any With Netatmo certified tech, which has signed up to the company’s compatibility program, launched back at CES 2017. However, it only applies to a handful of products so far.