Google Assistant provides a lot of features as a digital assistant and quite a few of it applies to smart home and automation services. Google offers some smart home scheduling features through routines, enabling users to automatically start certain tasks once certain requirements are met.
The functionality under Routines has grown over the years, but there is still enough scope for development in what exactly can be done in Google Assistant in the smart home automation sense. Now, a developer has built an open-source application that allows you to schedule Google Assistant orders, opening a variety of smart home and beyond features and use cases.
Google Assistant timer by wiseindy allows you to submit Google Assistant commands that will be executed for a specified time period after a certain date, or by extension. The project uses IFTTT and an Internet-facing web server to connect with your smart device and Google Assistant.
Once set up, you can send commands like “Hey Google, turn off the lights after 10 minutes” that execute an action after a particular duration. The project already extends this instruction set to make it possible to use duration commands such as“Hey Google, turn on the fan for 25 minutes”, which will send one command instantly and the final command after the duration.
The application doesn’t directly communicate with your local devices but uses IFTTT as a connecting medium for this communication. When you ask Google Assistant to “turn off a device after 5 minutes”, it will send that command to IFTTT, which in turn makes an HTTP request to your server with the device name and parameter “5 minutes”. The server turns on the device and waits for the specified amount of time. Once the time has elapsed, the server will make a web request to IFTTT, which will tell Google Assistant to turn off the device. Consequently, you do need an always running Node.js server that IFTTT can talk to, though it need not be running on the same network.
Setting up the project takes a few steps, but the included readme is handy and will provide you with adequate guidance. The project is also open-source, so you can examine the code and make contributions yourself. The current applications and use-cases are envisaged within the context of smart homes, but maybe the community can extend it to other novel uses.