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Welcome to our blog, where we explore the latest innovations in home automation, offering insights and inspiration to enhance convenience, security, and comfort in your living space.

Control4 Halo Touch: The King of Home Automation Remote Controls?

Control4 Halo remote displays with touchscreen interfaces for a Park City, UT, home automation system.

Seamless Home Automation Control at Your Fingertips 

In the quest for the ultimate home automation system, Park City residents seek not just functionality but also elegance and ease of use. Enter the Control4 Halo Touch remote—a marvel of modern technology that promises to unify your home's smart features with a touch of luxury. With its sleek aluminum finish and intuitive touchscreen, the Halo Touch stands out as a premium controller designed for Utah’s sophisticated homes. It's more than a remote; it's a statement of finesse and control tailored to enhance your living experience with effortless precision. Let’s explore it in more detail below. 

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Why Control4 is the Ideal Home Automation System

A Control4 system tablet interface on a wall in a Park City home, with a couple blurred in the background.

Control4 is the Smart, Scalable System for Your Home

Smart home automation is often perceived as a complex and costly endeavor, but with a Control4 system, you will be pleasantly surprised at its simplicity and scalability. Perfect for Park City, UT homeowners, Control4 offers a versatile solution that grows with your needs, from a single room to an entire residence, without breaking the bank. Imagine a system that adapts to your lifestyle, enhancing your comfort and convenience without the expected high expense. Let's dive deeper into Control4 and reveal how it can bring smart living into your home with Show and Tell AV's expert guidance.

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Introducing Josh.ai: Turbocharged Voice Control for the Smart Home


Command Naturally

As we mentioned in the previous blog, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant require a certain order to commands and getting device names right. While they both have made strides in that area, even your four-year-old can process language better (they may not do your bidding, but we won’t go into that here). Josh.ai, on the other hand, has a handle on both the context of your commands and where you want to get something done. When you are in the living room and say, “lower the shades in 3 minutes,” it knows what room you are in and which motorized shades you mean.

Like your personal butler (which you won’t need anymore with Josh.ai), Josh can understand more than one thing at a time. And unlike your four-year-old, it will faithfully do what is asked. A compound directive like “dim the lights to 20%, turn the temperature to 73, and start Firefly Lane on Netflix” will be understood and executed without a puzzled look or a quizzical reply. This is voice control the way it should be.

SEE ALSO: Optimize Your Smart Home System with Remote Access

An App When You Want it

Sometimes it’s easier to manage something at the tap of a screen rather than by voice. Josh.ai has an elegant, intuitive companion app that lets you customize your smart home experience. Organized by rooms, it's easy to manage devices and functions in a room, and you can manage multiple properties too. A powerful personalization feature is profiles, where you can control how guests, kids, and visitors can manage specific parts of your smart home. Of course, Josh also integrates seamlessly with automation systems like Control4, so you can combine all your smart home functionality under one comprehensive control system. 

A Higher Intelligence – with Privacy

Josh.ai was designed as a voice control platform for home automation and not for other reasons. The company behind it does not gather information that can be used for marketing purposes. A unique feature of Josh is superior processing power built into the hardware that processes commands locally versus sending it to the cloud, creating a more secure and private approach to voice control. That power also lets Josh.ai learn your habits and do routine things for you, like lowering your shades on late afternoons in Bountiful, UT, to keep the sun's glare out – and that information stays in your home.

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How Do Alexa and Google Assistant Stack Up as Voice Assistants?


Smart Home Integration

Amazon Echo and Google Home aren’t just smart speakers; they’re smart home platforms that connect your devices so you can control everything with your voice or through their respective mobile apps. Amazon’s and Google’s voice control assistants also integrate with home automation systems like Control4 to bring the convenience of voice control to more complex smart homes.

It’s hard to find a smart home device that doesn’t integrate with Alexa or Google Assistant. Both platforms work with tens of thousands of devices that span every category: lights, locks, thermostats, video doorbells, refrigerators… you name it. And they’re adding new products all the time.

Like we mentioned, Alexa and Google Assistant work with other smart home devices and systems as well. For example, use Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers to command your Lutron lighting and shading control system, your Sonos multiroom speaker system, Nest and ecobee devices, and more.

SEE ALSO: 4 Convenient Ways to Control Your Smart Lighting System

Ease of Use

When it comes to controlling your Park City, UT smart home by voice, the more natural the commands, the better. While Alexa and Google Assistant require specific and often repetitive syntax when activating devices, Google Assistant seems to edge out Alexa in ease of use.

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What Is Voice Control and How Does It Enhance Your Smart Home?


The Rise of Voice Control

Voice control for the smart home skyrocketed after Amazon released its first-generation Echo smart speaker in 2014. Two years later, Google followed suit with its release of the Google Home smart speaker, as did Josh.ai with its (albeit higher-end) Josh Micro smart speaker. Of the biggest players in voice control, Apple trailed in last with its HomePod smart speaker in 2018.

Out of the gate, smart speakers could do a lot. Looking specifically at DIY smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, they could stream music, set alarms and reminders, answer trivial questions, and more. It didn’t take long for manufacturers to build solutions that would also enable these speakers to be used for sending voice commands to smart home devices.

Voice Control + Home Automation

Control4, a leader in home automation systems, noticed the rising popularity of using voice commands to control smart home devices and officially announced its integration with Amazon Alexa in 2016. Today, Control4 smart homes integrate with all the big players in voice assistant technology!

Something magical happens when you pair voice control with a home automation system like Control4. Not only can you control individual devices in your Park City, UT home, like a door lock or TV, but you can also control multiple devices at once using a single verbal command.

For example, when you get home from work, tell your smart speaker to activate your Evening scene. In seconds, the lights change, the shades lower, the temperature adjusts, and your favorite music plays overhead. Control4 paired with voice control lets you enjoy the power of automation—hands-free.

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How to Integrate Audio, Video, and Everything Else with Control4


Let Control Orchestrate Your Smart Home

While you are undoubtedly familiar with many of today's smart devices, do you ever wonder how home automation started? It began with audio and video systems control. Back in the 1990s, we had many single-purpose devices - VCRs, DVD players, CD players, turntables, TVs, projectors, etc. Getting all those to work together usually led to picking up and deciphering many button-festooned remote controls. 

Brave souls would purchase and program universal remotes, but even those could be very frustrating affairs. Many people in Salt Lake City turned to professionals like us to install systems that would actually work, ones that could understand that a device was on or off and could execute your wishes reliably. From there, other controls could be added to manage lights, motorized window treatments, and other accouterments of modern home theaters and living areas.

Today, not only are there a myriad of smart home DIY devices for many functions, but there are also full-fledged smart home control platforms like Control4 for not only audio-video integration but a host of other smart home functions too.  

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