Have you seen the new Milo speaker? One of the confusing parts when setting up your smart home is the need for a standalone smart hub that allows you to control all your smart devices from just a place.
A smart home company called Hogar Controls believes its Milo speaker has the answer to your smart hub worries. But let’s look at the kind of problems Hogar Controls designed Milo to solve.
Well, you may not realize that your smart speaker such as Google Home or Amazon Echo is not a hub, though it looks like it should be, and the Amazon Echo Plus is almost smart hub – but even the Amazon Echo Plus still doesn’t have all the wireless protocols important to communicate with every device you have in your smart home.
The basic smart speaker such as the basic Amazon Echo and Google Home will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but will not have Zigbee and Z-Wave, two competing low-energy wireless technologies that are famous in the smart home world.
One step too many
It means you have to purchase a separate hub such as the Samsung SmartThings hub, which you’ll command using the smart speaker. This just looks like a slight complication in the setup that is already complicated.
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But a smart speaker with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave and even infrared would be ideal because you don’t need two separate devices if you have such.
While it may sound just like asking a bicycle to tow a car, it is exactly what Hogar Controls has managed to do (except for the infrared) with its Milo speaker, which it will be showcasing at CES 2018.
Milo Speaker costs a reasonable $149/£120/AU$200, which is more than the Google Home or basic Amazon Echo, but the same price as the Echo Plus.
But hold on, we are not insinuating that the Milo speaker is better than those devices because we have not had a hands-on session with the Milo speaker, and with its specs, it doesn’t look at par with its competition. For instance, it uses three-microphone arrays while Echo uses six.
Our point here is that the first speaker that can really function as the smart home hub competitor is not from either of Google or Amazon, which is a bit surprising.
According to Hogar Controls, this Milo Speaker will soon be on the market. We will try it out and let you know if it’s worth your money and keep an eye on the big names in the industry to see if the next wave of smart speakers offers solutions to the separate hub issue.