While Insteon isn’t actually at CES this year, they did have a surprise announcement with Google today. Google Assistant, the smarts behind their Google Home devices, has now added Insteon to their lengthy list of third-party smart home device partners.
Once you’ve completed the initial setup you can then say things like “Hey Google, turn on the desk lamp.” That’s to be expected, but it’s actually smarter than that. When adding your Insteon devices to Google Home you’re asked to assign them to rooms within your house. If you walk into one of those rooms, and there’s a Google Home device in there, you can say “Hey Google, turn on the lights.” It will know which room you’re in, and it will turn on the lights in that room. If you’re not in an identifiable room when asking Google to turn on the lights, it will turn on all the lights.
Another feature that is really nice to have is support for Insteon scenes. A scene allows you to create a rule which controls multiple devices at once. Perhaps you have a certain group of lights that you like to turn on every evening. You could put them into a scene called “Evening lights” and then simply ask Google to turn them on for you.
To get everything configured, open the Google Home app on your phone. From there go to the Home Control section and click the add button. Select Insteon from the list, and log in with your Insteon credentials. Once you’ve done that you’ll see a list of all your devices and scenes, and you’ll be asked to put everything into rooms. That’s all there is to it. If you could use a little more help, the full instructions can be found here.
We’re really excited to see one of our favorite smart home platforms finally expand to Google Assistant. It’s been available on Alexa for over a year, and Cortana launched with Insteon support when the Invoke was released last autumn.