Insteon and Amazon Echo have joined forces to bring support for Insteon’s line of lights, dimmers and relays to the Echo’s set of devices that can be controlled using voice commands. The ability to use Echo’s Alexa to control Insteon devices does not cover everything quite yet, but Insteon says they are working on adding that support. Read more
As part of Google I/O 2011, Google announced Android@Home which brings automation to your home. There have been plenty of technologies like X10, Insteon, ZigBee, and Z-Wave that have tried to get home automation to the mainstream, but it has never happened.
Google is not really coming up with anything new here. People who have implemented the above systems can do what Google is touting. For example, with my Android phone, I can turn on lights, set my thermostat, open/close my garage, and much more. I can do any of those things from anywhere in the world.
My overall observations come from using Insteon which I have been slowly implementing in my house for a few months now. The 2 biggest reasons that home automation has not taken off is price and complication.