On the starter front, you will be able to use the following signals from various smart home devices, sensors (temperature, humidity, contact, and occupancy), and even electric cars as triggers:
- Open/Close: When the window is opened, turn off the thermostat.
- Device is charging / plugged in: When your EV is charging, it could automatically start playing music or downloading updates.
- Temperature: When the temperature inside rises above 80 degrees, open the window and turn on the fan.
- Volume is muted: When you mute your music, it could automatically turn off the speakers or start a timer.
- Device is docked / undocked: Commonly found on mops, mowers and vacuums. For example: When the vacuum docks, broadcast to the home vacuuming is finished.
- Device is paused: When you pause your TV show, it could automatically dim the lights or turn on the fireplace.
- Lock is jammed: If your door lock is jammed, broadcast to the home the lock is jammed and pulse a light.
- Humidity Percentage: When humidity drops below 40%, turn on the humidifier.
- Occupancy Sensing: When someone is detected in a certain zone or room, turn on the light.
Similarly, there are nine new actions in the Google Home app:
- Light effects: From pulse lights, to wake/sleep and even color loop. Here are some examples to try:
- Pulse: Provide visual feedback. When the doorbell is pressed, pulse my bedroom light.
- Wake/Sleep: When I dismiss my alarm, slowly wake the lights over a one hour time period.
- Color Loop: When I say “Party Time”, Color Loop lights for 30 mins.
- Open or Close device: Windows, doors, or blinds are a breeze to open or close with these actions: At 7 AM, open the blinds. At 10 PM close the blinds.
- Dock device: Now you can set an action to dock a device like, vacuums, mops or mowers: At 5 PM, dock the vacuum cleaner.
- Set Humidity: You can set the humidity in your home depending on the temperature. These actions could help improve air quality: If the humidity in my house is too low, turn on the humidifier.
- Pause/Unpause device: Simply pause or unpause devices such as your TV, music player, and video game. You can even control appliances like the vacuums, sprinklers, dishwasher, washer and dryer: When the doorbell rings, pause my robot vacuum.
- Timer: Start, pause, resume, or cancel timers for tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and running errands.
- Volume Mute: Mute or unmute devices such as your phone, TV, and music player when you need a moment of silence: Mute the TV at 9 PM when the kids are going to bed.
- Reboot device: Quickly reboot devices like your routers, game consoles, laptop, and TV. This action could help fix problems or improve performance: Schedule a Reboot device on my router every first of the month.
- Run software update: Run software update (like on your WiFi Router): Help your devices improve security and performance with this action to run software updates: Set a schedule for software updates.
The software update action seems particularly granular, while the Timer one can be used to:
- Set a timer for 30 minutes to cook dinner.
- Pause the timer when I need to check on the food.
- Resume the timer when I’m done checking on the food.
- Cancel the timer if I need to leave the house.
Google notes that “device capability support is limited by the device manufacturer” and provides a full list to check what traits a company has implemented if starters or actions aren’t available in the Home app.
If you don’t see the expected capability for your device, it could be because the device manufacturer has not implemented it. You can check here to see what traits your manufacturer has implemented.
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