March 17, 2021

By Karen Buchhagen, Director, Product & Program Management

Do you remember back in 2011, when Nest first introduced their smart Nest Learning Thermostat? What about the Ecobee smart thermostat that was introduced in 2008? These devices ushered in a new era of the smart home and, if you’re anything like me, by 2015, when your air conditioner or heater was getting its annual maintenance check, you’d discovered the comforts and convenience of ‘smart’ thermostats. Fast forward to today, and smart home devices, appliances and home systems are simpler than ever to use. Your smart “things” have become not only an every-day fixture, but a modern, essential convenience.

According to a recent report from Statista, in 2021, 221.6M homes will have smart home hubs, growing to 352M by 2023, and 482M by 2025. Yet, despite the increasing pervasiveness of smart home devices, there’s still a disconnect between the home and our other most connected device – our cars. That’s why we’ve created Cerence Connect, a new product that gives drivers seamless, conversational AI-powered access to their smart home from their car’s assistant, further extending drivers’ digital lives into the car. 

Where drivers were previously forced to pull out their phones to control their smart home devices, Cerence Connect makes it easy for them to do everything from opening the garage or setting the security system to initiating a more complex evening routine inclusive of lighting, temperature, and music – all by using their voice, directly from the automotive assistant. Cerence Connect also integrates with and can be triggered by the car’s sensors and contextual data to, for example, turn on the lights and heat when you’re a mile from home or activate the security system when you turn on the car to head to work. 

Cerence Connect


Beyond the benefits for drivers, Cerence Connect simplifies the once-complicated smart home integration process for automakers, eliminating the complexities associated with developing, operating and maintaining multiple IoT connection points by providing them with a single, unified solution for integration and interoperability with the most popular smart home services. An all-in-one solution, Cerence Connect includes: 

  • Pretrained natural language understanding for out-of-the-box comprehension of the most natural commands and queries drivers use to control their smart home devices;
  • A set of APIs that enable connection with multiple smart home and IoT ecosystems as well as the ability to create, cancel, modify, or delete connections; and 
  • A front-end user interface with prebuilt integrations for Amazon Alexa and other smart home platforms, with additional platforms to come in 2021.

The modern driving experience needs to take our entire digital ecosystems into account in a natural way using conversational, hands-free voice. With Cerence Connect, we’re doing just that, delivering a seamless link between the car and home and bringing new, unmatched capabilities to the automotive assistant. To learn more, check out this video

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