Using voice assisted technology is taking the world by storm. In fact, ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50 per cent of all searches will be voice searches. That is a pretty crazy statistic and I’ll admit that I didn’t believe it at first. The reality is that voice recognition technology got good, really good, in the last few years. As of summer 2017 Google claimed that their voice recognition accuracy was at an astounding 92%. That’s a 17% jump from the previous year at just 75% accuracy, which was a huge bottleneck to the voice assistant industry.

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It’s even more accurate now in 2018 at 95.1% accuracy, which means that it only fails to recognize a word only 4.9% of the time. That’s almost as accurate as humans (we do not recognize speech 100% of the time) and is likely to succeed us in accuracy in the near future. Since that leap in accuracy, voice assisted technology has been spreading like wildfire. After all, most of us carry voice assisted technology on our person at all times in the form of a smartphone.

So it stands to reason that with voice search accuracy and popularity going up, devices with voice command compatibility will go up as well. One of the best options for integrating any product with voice options is to pair it with an Amazon Alexa device like the Echo.

Alexa Enabled Smart Home

Amazon Alexa is widely considered the leader in voice assisted technology and has tons of features as well as a huge network of supported devices and software. If a device has voice capabilities, it’s likely to have Amazon Alexa as its main option.

With Alexa, you enable features through something called Alexa Skills. You can find a “skill” for just about anything with Alexa. In fact, there is already over 45,000 Alexa Skills in the US and counting. So it goes without saying that there are a lot of cool things you can do with Alexa besides a convenient way to check the weather.

Echo Smart Home: Hidden Gems

The best thing about the Echo other than how many different uses it has is how cheap it is. You could have an Echo Dot in every single room of the house for a few hundred dollars. With that said, there are a lot of smaller uses for the Echo that make life a lot easier that may be hidden in the sea of skills. Here are three of my favorite uses for the Echo dot that you probably haven’t thought of.

1. Tweaking the Wi-Fi Network

The internet may be getting faster, but so does that average internet usage. While we stream video, download bigger files, and play video games all at the same time sometimes even today’s internet speeds can’t keep up.

Programs for routing your internet with different priorities to different devices and users have been around for a while, but did you know that with Luma you can allocate internet usage easily with your voice?

You can name users and devices to make it easy and intuitive to change network priority for different devices. You can also pause or resume the entire network or a single user if you need to with a single command.  So if you have a large family that has a tendency to download large files or stream videos at inconvenient times, you can limit their bandwidth without having to load up your router settings.

2. Controlling your Entertainment Center

Entertainment centers have a tendency to be fairly complex. Often requiring multiple remote controls to turn everything you want on and it can be easy to confuse which remote does what. One solution to this problem is to get a smart remote control that you can program everything into, but this still requires you to remember which buttons to push.

That’s where the harmony comes in. With a harmony hub and an Echo you can control everything in your entertainment center with just your voice. It may take a little bit of time to get it all configured exactly how you want it, but the end result is worth it. After you get it installed, just add your favorite channels and smart apps to your favorites list and you should be ready to go!

3. Whole-Home Intercom

A few years ago it would have probably been pretty expensive to get an entire house wired up with intercom systems, but now-a-days if you have an Amazon Alexa in two rooms of your house, then you have an intercom system.

To use your Echo as an intercom system you’ll have to enable the drop in mode in the Alexa settings. Make sure that you have this mode enabled for all of the devices you intend to use as an intercom.

Bonus: Home Security

The Echo is the perfect control center for home security systems. They make it easy to arm and disarm your system, as well as a way to alert you to potential dangers in the home. If you are interested in getting a home security system that integrates with Amazon Alexa, give Protect America a try. They will ship you up to $1400 of security equipment right to your door. Get a free quote online or call today.