Create a Hands-Free Smart Home with SmartThings and Google Home

Hands Free Smart Home Smartthings Google Home

Samsung SmartThings comes with a powerful and customizable set of Routines and Modes that you can use to automate pretty much every part of your smart home. We have previously shown how you can integrate SmartThings with Amazon Alexa. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a hands-free smart home by connecting your SmartThings Hub to your Google Home. 

What you’ll need

In order to connect Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, you’ll need to have set up the following applications:

You’ll also need a Google Home and a Samsung SmartThings hub.

You can control your smart home, using Google Home voice commands.

Connecting Google Home to SmartThings

You can connect these two devices via the Google Home app:

  1. Make sure your smartphone or tablet is connected to the same network as your SmartThings Hub.
  2. Launch the Google Home mobile application.
  3. Tap the “Home” icon in the bottom-left corner.
You can connect to SmartThings, via the Google Home app.
  1. In the app’s upper-left corner, tap the “+” icon.
  2. Select “Set up device.”
  3. In the “Works with Google” section, tap “Have something already set up?”
  4. Find “SmartThings,” and give it a tap.
  5. When prompted, sign into either your Samsung account or your SmartThings account.
  6. Open the “From” drop-down and choose the location of your SmartThings network.
  7. Tap “Authorize.”

After a few moments, Google Home should display some information about all the devices and Routines it’s detected. Your Google Home is now successfully connected to SmartThings!

Organize your smart home: creating rooms

At this point, Google Home and SmartThings are aware of one another’s existence, but to get the most out of this new relationship you may want to consider creating some rooms.

By grouping smart devices into rooms, you can execute commands en masse: for example dimming all the lights in the living room with a single voice command or activating all the downstairs motion sensors just before heading to bed.

If you do decide to create some rooms, then just be aware that rooms in the Google Home app exist separately from the rooms in the SmartThings app. To keep things consistent when moving between these applications, you may want to spend some time replicating all of your Google Home “Room” settings in SmartThings or vice versa.

To set up a room in Google Home:

  1. Launch the Google Home application if you haven’t already.
  2. At the bottom of the screen make sure the “Home” tab is selected; you should now see a list of all your SmartThings devices.
  3. Tap the device you want to assign to a room.
  4. Select “Room.”
For more effective home automation, consider grouping smart devices into rooms.
  1. Choose a room from the list and then click “Save.”

If you want to assign devices to a room that isn’t already listed in Google Home, then you can create a custom room:

  1. Tap the device you want to assign to a custom room.
  2. Select “Room.”
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select “Add a custom room.”
  4. Give this room a name and click “Next.”

To assign more devices to this room, simply rinse and repeat the above steps.

Control your smart home using Google Home

At this point, you can use Google Home to control the smart devices on your network and check the status of all the devices and sensors throughout your home.

If you followed our guide to monitoring door open/close events, then you’ll already have a SmartThings Multipurpose sensor attached to a door or window. You can now ask Google Home to check whether this window or door is open. For example, I attached the Multipurpose sensor to my conservatory door, so I can ask:

“Okay Google, is the conservatory door open?”

Google Home will then inform me whether this door is currently open or closed.

As the name suggests, the Multipurpose sensor can monitor a range of events and conditions, so you can also ask Google Home to report the temperature:

“Okay Google, what’s the temperature in the conservatory?”

Google Home will respond with the ambient temperature in the room where the Multipurpose sensor is currently located. However, depending on what you named this sensor, Google Home’s response will be technically accurate, but it may be phrased a little strangely. For example, I named my sensor “Conservatory door,” so asking Google Home for a temperature reading gave me the following response:

“Conservatory door is currently 13 degrees.”

If you’re getting a similarly awkward reply, then you can change how Google Home refers to your Multipurpose sensor:

  1. In the Google Home app, make sure the “Home” tab is selected.
  2. Find the smart device you want to rename and give it a tap.
  3. Select “Name.”
You can change the name of any SmartThings device or sensor, within the Google Home app.
  1. Edit the device’s name: for example, I’m renaming my sensor “Conservatory.”
  2. Click “Save.”

Now when you ask Google Home for the temperature, you should get a much less clunky response.

Voice-activated routines

You can trigger all of your SmartThings routines using Google Home commands. For example, I previously created a “Good Night!” routine that places my house in “Night” mode and then notifies me about any suspicious activity.

To run this routine, I just need to tell Google Home:

“Okay Google, run Good Night.”

Google will then run my routine, switch my home into “Night” mode and send me a smartphone notification if anything unexpected happens. For example, if a downstairs door or window suddenly opens in the middle of the night or movement is detected outside.

Have you created any interesting home automation effects using this combination? Let us know in the comments below!

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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