This awesome new app lets you control your smart home with voice commands

shortcut new app lets control smart home voice commands screen shot 2014 04 10 at 4 02 13 pm

If you have a litany of different smart gadgets in you home like Philips Hue lights, Unikey door locks, Nest or EcoBee smart thermostats, Belkin WeMo switches, Dropcam, Fitbit, Jawbone, or Sonos speakers; you’re going to love this new app.

Freshly launched yesterday afternoon in the Google Play store, Shortcut allows you to interact with a wide variety of connected devices by using voice commands. In the words of co-founder Duy Huynh, it’s basically like “Siri for the Internet of Things.”

This app addresses one of the biggest problems plaguing today’s DIY smart homes; the fact that you often need to fire up a separate app for each device you want to control. There are a few companies that have addressed this interface problem (like Revolv for example) and others (like Enblink) have dabbled in voice control, but this is the first app we’ve heard of that combines the two to create a unified voice-control platform for all of your gear.

Shortcut currently supports a pretty sizable range of popular smart home devices, and the company is moving quickly to add more. It uses public APIs to connect to the gadgets when available, and when they’re not, Shortcut works directly with the company in question to develop custom integration. Currently, Shortcut is working on a number of connections that aren’t publicly launched just yet — including several of the above mentioned integrations (SonosJawboneEcoBee, and Unikey), and even a few for lesser-known devices like the PebbleBeeRockiBTMATEOBD LINKGreenbox, and Rachio.

The coolest part is that, much like Siri, Shortcut is designed to understand natural speech. You don’t have to phrase your commands in a certain order to get them them to work — you can just spout off whatever you want, and so long as it pertains to home control, it should work. The team behind the app built it with a natural language processor geared toward understanding a range of short commands related to home automation, so you can say things like “turn up the temperature,” “unlock the door,” or “turn on the lights,” and it’ll know what you mean. 

The app is available right now in the Google Play store, and the company says that an iOS version and Google Glass app will soon follow. Find out more here.

Smart Home

Walmart, Home Depot, ABT, Best Buy drop huge appliance sales for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend brings kitchen appliance sales just before the summer season begins. We searched Home Depot, Best Buy, ABT, and Walmart for their best appliance deals on washers, dryers, ranges, refrigerators, and kitchen suites.
Smart Home

Best outdoor grill deals for Memorial Day from Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart

Summer means outdoor living and, especially, outdoor cooking! With Memorial Day Weekend starting in just a few days, this is the time to give serious consideration to buying a new outdoor grill and it's not too late to find excellent deals.
Home Theater

FCC filing leaks smaller Samsung Galaxy Home before the first one even launches

Samsung's promised entry into the A.I.-powered smart speaker race, the Galaxy Home, is still nowhere to be seen. But that isn't stopping the company from planning a follow-up device, which will be smaller, and likely cheaper.
Smart Home

Selling or trading in an Echo Dot? Here's how to factory reset your device

Need to get rid of an old Echo Dot? If you no longer need your Dot, or you're swapping it out for another product, don’t throw it away. This guide includes info on the trade-in or sale value of your old Dot.
Smart Home

Neato Botvac D6 robot vacuum gets a big $330 price cut through Memorial Day

Neato is one of our favorite robot vacuum manufacturers besides iRobot, which has all but become the industry's standard for quality. We've just been alerted to a special sale on last years Botvac D6 Connected model at Best Buy, saving you…
Gaming

Amazon boosts productivity by gamifying warehouse workers’ tedium

Amazon is letting its warehouse staff play video games while they work. The games have been specially designed to inject some fun into the daily grind and, of course, to encourage them to work more quickly.
Deals

Best Buy offers a free Sengled smart LED kit with $200 Arlo smart security sale

Best Buy is offering up a sweet smart home starter pack, with a Sengled LED A19 smart bulb kit included for free with every purchase of $200 on Arlo items. Kickstart your smart home now with this lights/camera action.
Smart Home

Lenovo’s pint-sized smart alarm clock is set to ship next month

Lenovo opened up pre-orders for its Smart Clock, which it debuted at CES 2019, and announced that it will begin shipping to customers on June 2. The compact bedside companion is retailing for $79.
Deals

Best Buy Memorial Day sale: Dyson vacuums, Keurig coffee makers, and more

Best Buy's Memorial Day sale is focusing the majority of its deals on appliances. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, vacuums, and coffee makers are all receiving some pretty substantial price cuts.
Smart Home

Amazon chops the price for customer favorite Hamilton Beach 2-way coffee brewer

Do you sometimes want just a single cup of coffee without making a whole pot but other times use a full carafe? Have it both ways with the Amazon's Choice Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer. For today only, Amazon cut the price by $53.
Deals

Best Memorial Day smart mattress sales from Sleep Number, Beautyrest, and more

Memorial Day is one of the best holidays when it comes to online sales. If you're looking for a new mattress, a smart mattress may be right for you. Check out some of the best Memorial Day smart mattress sales of the year to take your smart…
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Smart Home

Amazon Memorial Day sale: $210 off Arlo Pro wireless security camera kit

Weatherproof and wireless, the Arlo Pro security camera gives you the freedom to monitor any area or room inside or outside your home. Amazon dropped the price of the Arlo Pro HD security camera kit that includes everything you need.
Smart Home

Amazon Memorial Day deal drops price of August Smart Lock for homes to just $99

Smart lock are a strong start to any smart home security system. Now, in Amazon’s Memorial Day deal, score an August Smart Lock for the low price of just $99, down from $150. Lock in this deal now and start your summer off smart.