On our most recent IoT Podcast, Jonathan called in to our voicemail hotline with a smart home question. He uses Google Home along with various smart lights. And his sons keep turning off the lights in Jonathan’s bedroom. So he’s wondering: Is there a way to limit who can voice control his smart home devices?
You’d think there would be since Google Home has a Voice Match feature. With it, Google shows or speaks information relevant to the person who’s speaking. Unfortunately, the voice matching doesn’t do much more than that currently.
There is a parental control feature available in the Google Home app but it mainly limits content playback. It doesn’t stop the kids from controlling smart home devices. In fact, anyone who knows the “Hey Google” wake word and speaks a command can control your smart home devices. That includes any guests in your smart home.
For now, then, Jonathan can’t limit who controls what devices in his house.
However, we don’t know all of the details in this situation. So on the off chance his sons are simply saying “Hey Google, lights out” in their rooms and causing this issue, it’s worth offering a suggestion.
For any Google Home device that’s not associated with a specific room in the mobile app, saying “Hey Google, lights out” will turn off all lights in the home. That’s why we typically set up specific devices for different rooms. And we link Google Home smart speakers to those rooms.
With that set up, only the lights in the same room as the smart display or speaker are turned off. Configuring this is fairly easy. Just go into the Google Home app, find the devices you want in a specific room and add them to the room. This way, if the boys tell Google to turn the lights out in their room, only those lights will go out.
To hear Jonathan’s question, as well as our discussion in full, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: