At Google IO this year the Assistant team announced that Google Home devices would be able to control devices directly on your network via the Local Home SDK, and according to their developer documentation page the SDK is now publicly available for developer testing and feedback.
Using the Local Home SDK, the Assistant can directly interface with other device on the same local network and issue direct commands and requests to those devices instead of having to process commands in the cloud. It should lead to much faster responses to your voice commands, once its integrated by device manufacturers.
The concept is simple, rather than a user asking the assistant for an action, have that action go to the Google Cloud, then to the providers cloud (even if it’s a Google product) then go back down to the device that the action was intended for, what if Google Assistant hardware could just ask the local device and then ‘sync’ the state changes up to the cloud.
Control devices like Google Home will be able to ‘map’ the network to which it is connected, understand what devices can be controlled locally via the new protocol and then communicate directly with those devices. This should dramatically reduce lag time for device control which, depending on your internet connection, can make managing some devices a significant pain.
It should be obvious, but it bears pointing out – your Google Home doesn’t suddenly get support for protocols like Z-wave and Zigbee – you’ll still need bridge devices for those technologies, but the maker of those bridge devices could integrate the Local Home SDK.
The Local Home SDK is out now for developer testing and feedback, so hopefully it wont be long until manufacturers start to integrate Local Home control into their products.