Did you know that there was an open-source smart home platform called Home Assistant? Me either! News of it comes at just the right time though, because recently, I expressed my frustrations with Google Assistant and its competitors. Instead of being the future we were promised, these AI assistants have largely fallen on hard times with development and resources at each company appear to be going elsewhere.
Home Assistant sees a future where you can interact with your smart home without having to connect to the cloud or even the internet. Currently, the team there is working on a local-only alternative to Google, Amazon and Apple’s helpers. It is stated to release sometime this next year, according to a blog post published this past week (Kudos The Verge).
With Home Assistant we want to make a privacy and locally focused smart home available to everyone.Home Assistant Blog
Even upon release, the local assistant will likely sport only basic functionality, but H.A. likes to get things in users hands in the early parts of development in order to address feedback and develop it further. In order to make this foundational aspect of it successful, the developers will limit its capabilities to smart home management.
This means you won’t be able to perform Google searches, make voice calls, or anything else with it, but that’s okay. For those of us who just want a reliable smart home – you know, where Google is currently dropping the ball – we’re happy to be limited so long as that extra focus and attention ensures a better user experience.