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Honeywell out to create a smarter home with a voice-controlled thermostat

Honeywell has got one over on rivals Hive and Nest by introducing a voice-controlled thermostat in the UK.

Despite offering voice control, the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart thermostat also offers a large touchscreen for those not too comfortable talking to an empty room.

The Honeywell thermostat listens out for a series of prescribed commands that need to be spoken quite distinctly – it does not offer Siri-like levels of interaction. Honeywell is not going to take over your house in HAL9000 fashion.

The company says the platform will use crowdsourcing for the optimisation of its voice software.

As well as asking the thermostat to change your house’s temperature, you can ask for other details such as the weather, which is then displayed on-screen.

It hooks up to the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app, which lets you manage the temperature independently in multiple rooms in your house – assuming you have the smart hardware to match.

Rival Nest, which is owned by Google, offers voice control but only via a phone used to control the system.

The Honeywell voice-controller thermostat is the first smart heating system we’ve seen to offer ‘native’ listening through the thermostat hardware itself.

It’s able to do this because it offers integrated Wi-Fi and a microphone in the thermostat itself. This should help it offer a more natural feel than some other solutions.

An obvious issue is that not everyone’s lounge is a haven of calm, and we’re yet to see how the system works with a fair bit of ambient noise.

The Honeywell voice-controlled thermostat costs £229. It has been around for a while in the US, but is new to the UK.

Read more: Nest vs Hive

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