At home with Alan: enabling a custom voice user interface (VUI) in any app

Smart homes have gone from science fiction to reality, and increasingly people are equipping their homes with technology that a few years ago could only be experienced on film. Now you can ask kitchen appliances when dinner is ready, ask the thermostat to put the heating on and your sound system to play your favorite song. Many Smart homes are operated using Google Home Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa with voice. However, none of these voice assistants can be applied to the existing applications that you use for everyday tasks in the home  This is what the Alan Platform offers as the next generation of smart home capabilities by enabling a custom voice user interface (VUI) in any app.


Whether you’re a Michelin star chef or an enthusiastic amateur, there are certain tasks that you simply don’t want to spend your time on, and are best left to a voice assistant. Luckily there is now a wide range of smart kitchen appliances that deal with boring stuff like time monitoring, measuring nutritional value and remembering expiration dates. The Instant Pot Smart WiFi 8-in-1 Multicooker comes with the Instant Pot App with pre-programmed recipes. 

With Alan voice control, users could get guidance and information on the recipe and steps to cooking their meals while hands-free, which means more convenience and accessibility for home cooks. You could also use the voice user experience to find the latest recipes, popular dishes based on user ratings and even regional authenticity.

Thermostat Control

It has never been more convenient to manage household tasks with apps. Increasingly people are using Smart Thermostats to heat and cool their homes, even reduce monthly bills. Popular smart thermostats include Ecobee. You can control your thermostat remotely by downloading the app to your phone. 

With the Alan Platform, you can go further, as Alan can voice-enable any app, understand industry-specific terms and respond to how people really speak. This means that users would be able to talk to the app like they would to family or roommates. They can also get detailed updates on changes in prices and even query malfunctions and repairs, without having to call a professional. 

Sprinkler Controls

One challenge many households face is keeping their garden not only looking good but adequately watered. Smart sprinklers offer a solution to the last part at least. They perform all the functions of a regular sprinkler but are enhanced with season and weather awareness, automatic scheduling and different metrics that regulates the amount of water used. There is an app available from Rachio, a popular smart sprinkler brand. Voice-enabling your sprinkler system’s app using the Alan Platform could open even more possibilities. 

By deploying Alan, your smart sprinkler app could essentially become a gardening expert or meteorologist. You could ask about levels of water usage or even the probability of good weather in the event of a garden party.

Light Switches

The simplicity of the light switch lends itself, particularly well to voice commands. Perhaps the quickest way of getting into smart lighting is investing in smart switches rather than bulbs, the former does not require you to replace every bulb in the house. Voice-enabled light switches like the Markevina Smart WiFi Light Switch APP allow users to do everything from adjusting the settings when you are watching TV to turning on the lights at night to deal with intruders. The Alan Platform could do, even more, it could tailor the voice controls to your specific needs. Users could ask for an estimate of their lighting bill based on current usage, find out when they need to replace a bulb or implement parental controls, all using Alan’s advanced Voice AI.

Sound System Control

Home sound systems can enhance the experience of listening to music or podcasts. With smart sound system control, it is now possible to enhance not just what you listen to but how you listen. A lot of these systems can be operated with voice, the Sonos app, for example, allows you to control all your speakers, group rooms to play in sync, and quickly search for music and streaming services. With Alan Voice control, you could ask for recommendations based on your listening history, conversationally, like you would a friend. You could even discover the meanings behind song lyrics and find out about the lives of your favorite artists.

Assisted Living

An assisted-living facility for senior citizens in Sembawang, Singapore opened its doors recently. Technology has been implemented to ease the lives of the residents, while at the same time giving them a sense of dignity and independence. For example, motion sensors were installed ‘to build a picture of an occupant’s activities, and appropriate care can be brought in when needed’. 

The facility also makes use of voice assistants to support caregivers and residents. The Alan Team has already explored medical chatbots and voice technology for First Responders, working with assisted living apps would make sense given our experience. The Alan platform could be used to give caregivers in a residential home instant access to residents’ medical history and dietary requirements. The seniors themselves could benefit from a voice experience that can accommodate health and cognitive issues. 

With Alan, any existing Smart Home app can be completely voice enabled, giving the apps you already use for your at-home needs a conversational voice experience. Alan makes it easy for any developer to add voice to their apps and can go live with users within days. Get started now at

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