The Z-Wave protocol will soon natively support Google Home, as upgraded firmware brings the Google Assistant on par with Amazon’s Alexa.
Unveiled at IFA 2017, the Z-Wave Alliance officially confirmed that a new firmware upgrade will allow existing Z-Wave devices to be controlled through Google Home. This includes a wide array of devices and smart home ecosystems, including Yale smart locks, the Popp Hub, and even the Raspberry Pi, when paired with a Z-Wave module.
Google has been rapidly expanding its support for smart home devices from across the industry, with the Google Assistant quickly catching up to Amazon’s Alexa. Despite recent support from major smart home manufacturers, however, Amazon still leads the pack in smart home control. With the addition of Z-Wave, Google Assistant is now one step closer to parity with Alexa.
The Z-Wave protocol has been allowing different accessories to talk to each other, even if they were not designed to out of the box. Modules have been made available for a wide range of scenarios, including for the Raspberry Pi – sparking a revolution in the DIY smart home.
Users wishing to get their Z-Wave products talking to the Google Assistant will have to make sure they’re using the flagship software, Z-Way. This software will automatically enable devices using Z-Wave to be controllable through the Google Home and other Assistant-enabled devices.
IFA 207 is likely to see even more smart home devices launch with Google Assistant support, while users will also get more choice for smart speakers using the AI outside of the Google Home. Panasonic has already unveiled one such model.