Smart homes powered by SMS rather than voice could be the real future

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Although voice interaction is the technology de jour for many early adopters around the world, SMS text messages may turn out to be the preferred method of telling your smart kettle what to do. As well as being less intrusive, texting makes the interaction hardware agnostic — letting anything become part of your smart and connected home.

One of the biggest problems associated with voice commands is that they can be distracting or intrusive. If you’re having a conversation in your home and want to change the temperature on your smart thermostat, you don’t want to speak over people or wait for a conversation break to do so. This was something Mark Zuckerberg highlighted in the creation of his Jarvis home assistant.

While tolerance for that level of intrusion will differ from person to person, people and companies are separately concerned about tying smart devices to specific hub hardware. As it stands, products like Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo, or Google’s Home hubs can interact with different products and services, but many manufacturers and developers don’t want to be tied to those particular pieces of equipment.

With SMS messaging, even through third-party services like Unified Inbox, these products are able to be more agnostic about the hardware and software they interact with. As Reuters highlights, this means that companies don’t need to make themselves compatible with industry giants, and can offer similarly connected services, but remain independent.

SMS messaging is also something that almost every person in the world can do. It doesn’t require smartphone power or a local Wi-Fi connection, nor a connection to a powerful cloud computing network.

Services like Unified Inbox can support a number of messaging applications some of which support encryption, potentially offering better security than a voice recording being sent to cloud networks for processing and response.

Text messaging offers a unified standard of communication that has already proven popular with people all over the world of various age groups and backgrounds. It could well be the standard of communication we use for our connected machines of the future, too.

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