Have you ever discovered — while trying a new recipe — that you were out of eggs? Have you ever wished you had a better solution than a trip to the grocery store? You do now, thanks to applications that allow you to talk to your home. Before you get too excited, you can’t command a genie to appear and mow your lawn! But technology has created digital devices that will do things such as activate lights, stream music and recite emergency substitutions for eggs — all at a verbal prompt from you. Read on to learn how you don’t have to be a cartoon character to talk to your home.

What’s a Home App?

The top two on the current market are Amazon Echo and Google Home. Each one is a small tabletop Talk to Your Home - Real Life or George Jetson?WiFi speaker that’s voice-activated and is powered by an adapter you plug into an electrical outlet. You can tell your app to do things like play the Rolling Stones on a music streaming service, use it to operate your smart home technologies (if you have those features) and use it as a personal assistant (ask it to wake you tomorrow at 5:30 a.m.).

How Do Home Apps Operate?

Both Echo and Home resemble a large pillar candle. Echo’s a bit leaner (3.3 inches) and taller (9.25 inches). Home is shorter (5.62 inches) and stouter (3.79 inches). They both perform as tabletop, countertop or desktop speakers, and they both contain a personal-assistant component. No matter which system you choose, you must have Wifi at your home, and you’ll need a smart phone or computer tablet in order to download either system’s app to get it started.

What Home Apps Do

Make yours and your family’s lives easier! If you want to use a home app, of course. Let’s assume you do. Your app can connect to myriad streaming entertainment sources — online music, videos and some television networks. It’s also an on-demand personal assistant that hears your question about who starred in a particular movie, and answers, despite the fact it’s simultaneously blasting hard-rock tunes while you cook dinner. Ask your home app assistant what it recommends as an emergency egg substitute!

Home apps also control your smart home technology, if you have that at your house. Again, let’s assume you do. Upon hearing a simple voice command, your home app will adjust the thermostat, open or close the garage door, extinguish the back-porch light that you forgot and turn on the master bedroom ceiling fan when you sense the house is a bit stuffy at midnight. All without you having to move from your comfy chair or bed. Sweet, right?

The Future of Home Apps

Home apps are relatively new, and other companies may bring versions to market to challenge Google and Amazon. Nevertheless, steaming, online and entertainment options are being added constantly, along with better voice recognition by each home app’s assistant function, plus new functions such as ordering takeout food on demand.

Ready for a new home in which to test-drive an app? ICI Homes is ready to help. Start here.