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Are Kaluza planning on being able to support the Google home environment?

  • 15 November 2020
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Anyone know if kaluza are planning on being able to support the Google home environment.

Would be good to be able to ask Google to charge the car or stop charging the car, increase or decrease charge speed, enable boost etc. rather than getting a device, logging onto the app and then doing it from there.

Know I'd still need to physically have the car plugged in but would be much easier to ask Google.

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Best answer by rajan 17 November 2020, 10:45

There’s some really good points raised here. It’s a common concern with smart devices that I hear. Security, authenticity etc. It’s an important consideration. I’m tempted to put @Blastoise186’s most recent comment as the ‘best answer’, but really good points raised. 

 

I have also confirmed that we were working on a proof of concept with Amazon's Alexa, so this is certainly something on our feature list. Although that work has been paused ahead of other developments, it might be something we see something more of in 2021 once feasibility, customer demand and security have been factored in. 

 

Can I request Google home be looked at rather than Alexa please?

This is the platform most people use these days (and selfishly myself too!)

 

Thanks

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @rajan ,

I don’t think anyone else has mentioned this before, so it sounds like you’ve got a new suggestion here. Thanks for sharing it!

Tim should be back tomorrow so he’ll be happy to pass this on for you. If he gets any response from Kaluza, you’ll be the first to know. :)

Keep those ideas coming too!

Userlevel 7

Lovely question to send over to the Kaluza or OVO Smart Home team, @rajan 

 

I’ll get this submitted to them and if we have any info, I’ll come back and share! 

Userlevel 2

Lovely question to send over to the Kaluza or OVO Smart Home team, @rajan 

 

I’ll get this submitted to them and if we have any info, I’ll come back and share! 

 

Hopefully it's already in the works!haha

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There are a number of issues to consider here, @rajan 

1: How do we prevent a 3-year-old from telling the car to stop charging if you’re out of the room for a moment?

2: If Google Home gets compromised, what is to prevent the perpetrator from using it to take down the UK electricity grid by switching ON or OFF every connected device? It’s the ultimate Denial of Service attack.

On the other hand, it might be a different matter if were asking Kaluza to add a feature to the App such that it would respond to voice commands (Google on Android and Siri on Apple). Would that achieve the result you’re looking for?

Userlevel 2

There are a number of issues to consider here, @rajan 

1: How do we prevent a 3-year-old from telling the car to stop charging if you’re out of the room for a moment?

2: If Google Home gets compromised, what is to prevent the perpetrator from using it to take down the UK electricity grid by switching ON or OFF every connected device? It’s the ultimate Denial of Service attack.

On the other hand, it might be a different matter if were asking Kaluza to add a feature to the App such that it would respond to voice commands (Google on Android and Siri on Apple). Would that achieve the result you’re looking for?

 

Cheers, but not sure what the difference would be?

All been already been considered by other apps and so I'm already able to do this with other systems already out there...…

 

1) don't forget to take the 3 year old out of the room with you..…

Alternatively you can add in a pin code to confirm the command.

 

 

2) skynet is already here......you just don't know it yet!

In reality Google do have a lot of backups and failsafes in place.

You can also disconnect your internet router and wear some tin foil hats

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@rajanwrote:

All been already been considered by other apps

But not all Apps have the same potential to cause havoc if they receive a malicious command.

The UK roll out of SMETS2 Smart Meters was delayed 6 months because of the need to implement better security and ensure that it was adequately robust. That’s why the National Cyber Security Centre is involved in the process.

Userlevel 2

@rajanwrote:

All been already been considered by other apps

But not all Apps have the same potential to cause havoc if they receive a malicious command.

The UK roll out of SMETS2 Smart Meters was delayed 6 months because of the need to implement better security and ensure that it was adequately robust. That’s why the National Cyber Security Centre is involved in the process.

 

Light switches

Heating

Robot vacuum/lawnmower

TV

Soundbar

Security cameras

Etc.

All currently working with Google home just fine....

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I wasn’t thinking so much of the “havoc” which could ensue from a 3-year-old sending a command to your robot vacuum, because that affects only your house.

But there have to be approved safeguards in place if there is to be software control of devices which can cause large demands on the electricity grid. The two EV chargers designed by Indra which operate on the Flex Platform use an encrypted command system which is approved by the relevant authorities.

The OVO App sends your request to Kaluza where it is passed through a sanity-check before the encrypted command is sent back to the charger. That means the software within the App is within the secure envelope which prevents malicious rogue commands being sent.

If Google Home, or Nest or Hive or any other similar generic smart product is permitted to send a command, then it too must be brought within the security envelope which protects the UK energy grid.

 

And @Blastoise186 is the right expert to take this discussion forward, not me!

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Badge +3

Thanks @Transparent ,

Your comments here are definitely valid, but that doesn’t mean this idea is completely dead in the water by itself. Please bear in mind that these are my personal views though, as I’m just a volunteer here.

When it comes to the initial two issues, I think both of them can be at very least mitigated by restricting how shared devices like speakers can interact with the Kaluza and Flex platforms. So if you made it so that an Amazon Echo/Apple HomePod/Google Nest speaker could simply query whether the charger was currently in use, that might be somewhat acceptable. But it would have to be read-only access at best in my opinion.

On a smartphone with the app already installed however? Erm… Maybe that can be a little more flexible, depending on circumstances. It is possible for digital assistants to “talk” to apps on the same device in some cases to varying degrees, so it might be possible to yell at Siri to shut down the charger via your iPhone or get the Google Assistant to change the schedule via your Android tablet.

But it would probably still have to be routed via the appropriate app using an integration of some kind, as you don’t want to be plugging these things directly into the platform. I have to admit that’s a really tricky one here.

And please also bear in mind that if you’ve got a voice controlled burglar alarm, security cameras and front door lock, what’s to stop me from just shouting OK Google. Disarm the intruder alarm followed by Hey, Siri. Turn off the downstairs security cameras and finally, Alexa. Unlock the front door through an open window. Or even just using lasers to do the same thing at long range. It’s pretty scary stuff if not handled correctly.

Definitely an interesting suggestion and a good discussion point nonetheless. If those challenges can be solved, this might work out. But the challenge is keeping it safe and secure first!

Userlevel 7

There’s some really good points raised here. It’s a common concern with smart devices that I hear. Security, authenticity etc. It’s an important consideration. I’m tempted to put @Blastoise186’s most recent comment as the ‘best answer’, but really good points raised. 

 

I have also confirmed that we were working on a proof of concept with Amazon's Alexa, so this is certainly something on our feature list. Although that work has been paused ahead of other developments, it might be something we see something more of in 2021 once feasibility, customer demand and security have been factored in. 

Userlevel 2

There’s some really good points raised here. It’s a common concern with smart devices that I hear. Security, authenticity etc. It’s an important consideration. I’m tempted to put @Blastoise186’s most recent comment as the ‘best answer’, but really good points raised. 

 

I have also confirmed that we were working on a proof of concept with Amazon's Alexa, so this is certainly something on our feature list. Although that work has been paused ahead of other developments, it might be something we see something more of in 2021 once feasibility, customer demand and security have been factored in. 

 

Can I request Google home be looked at rather than Alexa please?

This is the platform most people use these days (and selfishly myself too!)

 

Thanks

Userlevel 7
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Solved:

Hey Google, please tell Alexa to charge my car!”  :wink:

Userlevel 7
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There’s also a really good video series I came across some time ago which may be of interest. By itself, it’s not enough for me to do an entire blog/article on, but still interesting.

Bear with me for a bit. I need to go back through it and check a few things before sharing it.

Userlevel 2

Solved:

Hey Google, please tell Alexa to charge my car!”  :wink:

Is Alexa the name of your child? Haha

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As you probably know @rajan, the children are way ahead of us.

A decade ago I would’ve been asked “Where do cashew nuts come from?

Now, it’s Google they ask first, and I’m wondering what grandparents will have left to do! :wink:

Userlevel 2

Enjoy retirement!haha

Userlevel 2

Also looks like nissan have already enabled something like this. Surprised Tesla haven't done something similar yet!

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000534257aaae%3Fhl%3Den-US&ved=2ahUKEwiY78iyyIntAhW9QhUIHYf-BCUQFjABegQILhAH&usg=AOvVaw05ByiQxCllUopC28IcTIPQ

Userlevel 7
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I’ve just tidied up that link from @rajan -  Click here to view it.

Userlevel 2

Also looks like nissan have already enabled something like this. Surprised Tesla haven't done something similar yet!

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000534257aaae%3Fhl%3Den-US&ved=2ahUKEwiY78iyyIntAhW9QhUIHYf-BCUQFjABegQILhAH&usg=AOvVaw05ByiQxCllUopC28IcTIPQ

 

Looks like someone has already thought of this if anyone else is interested:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000196c7e079e%3Fhl%3Den-US&ved=2ahUKEwiMjPKSzIntAhXIURUIHVgeAy4QjjgwAHoECC4QAg&usg=AOvVaw2dc5eT3r1xvuqTaYh3i88U

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for waiting on this one. I’ve checked things over with @Tim_OVO and cleared this through moderation.

A few years ago, a white paper came out called Project 2020 that went into a lot of detail on similar topics. It looks like the website it was related to seems to be having some problems right now as I post this, but the video series called 2020 is on YouTube and can be viewed there as a fallback.

CAUTION: Please be advised that the videos in this playlist contain flashing images and other content that may not be suitable for young children. For your safety, I’ve hidden the link behind a spoiler to avoid accidental clicks.

The YouTube series can be found at this playlist.

 

It’s a bit of an extreme worst-case scenario, but a very good discussion point to note and worth considering with suggestions like these. I hope it’s useful.

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