While voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant are taking over the home, there are still some users who don't want to talk to their devices. The French company Netatmo, maker of a number of smart home products, wants users to text—not speak—to control their devices no matter where they are. At CES, Netatmo debuted its Smart Home Bot, a digital assistant of sorts that lives within Facebook Messenger that users can text commands to, thereby controlling their smart home devices.
The foundation for the Smart Home Bot comes from Netatmo's new "with Netatmo" program. Currently, Netatmo devices are compatible with various virtual assistants including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. But Netatmo's new program will encourage other companies to partner with Netatmo to make devices that work with the company's software as well as the Smart Home Bot. At CES, Netatmo is showing off a few of the newest "with Netatmo" devices, including smart lights, blinds, and radiators that will debut in 2018.
Any of the "with Netatmo" devices, as well as Netatmo's own products, can be controlled through the Smart Home Bot via Facebook Messenger. Essentially, it's a contact that uses artificial intelligence algorithms and natural language processing to decipher text commands you send it to control different smart home devices. You could text the bot, "Who is at home?" when you're out, and it'll reply with photos of the individuals that the Netatmo Welcome recognized in your home. You could also text a command to set your home's temperature to 70 degrees and a "with Netatmo" smart thermostat would be set to your liking shortly thereafter.