One of our major complaints about Google Home and its smart device control abilities is the speed at which it executes commands – or rather, the lack thereof. One of Google’s announcements at Google IO should solve that issue with some developer buy-in required.
At present, home automation commands are sent offsite to remote servers to be processed. This can mean slow (or no) responses if your internet connection is congested, or if you’re physically located away from the remote servers. The latter is considered a problem for us here in Australia (and is something Amazon’s Alexa systems handle better).
Google’s solution is pretty simple – it’s going to add a new local execution environment to each Google Home device that will attempt to execute a command before sending it off to the internet for processing. This is where the Local Home SDK comes in.
Everything should happen on your local devices and local network, so your voice commands might not even go to Google’s servers. Of course, if a particular manufacturer hasn’t integrated the Local Home SDK then the existing remote execution path would continue to work.
According to 9to5 Google, the SDK is currently being tested by Phillips, LIFX, Wemo and TP-Link, all manufacturers whose products would benefit greatly from the speed boost this would offer. They go on to say that Local Home also allows for faster device setup through the Google Home app on your smartphone, in testing with C by GE bulbs since last October.
It hasn’t been explicitly stated, but this local device control feels like the change that’s been need to help get JBL’s Android TV sound bar and Sonos’ Google Assistant integration over the line. It’ll be interesting to watch how quickly those products and updates get to market after the Local Home SDK rolls out.
The new Local Home SDK will enter developer preview next month.