Amazon’s voice service Alexa is paving the way for complete home automation. Every month, more and more smart home products are becoming compatible with Alexa. Here are the top three things most likely to surprise you when you start researching home automation with Alexa.
Trigger More Than One Action Simultaneously
Alexa’s newest updates are adding more capabilities that are more user friendly than ever. With Alexa, you can set up one command that performs several actions at once. For instance, you can say “Alexa, goodnight” and the application will lock the doors, adjust the thermostats and turn off the lights. If anything goes wrong make sure to look at the color of the echo dot lights to see if there are any problems. Many of the commands can be controlled through the Alexa application on your smartphone or tablet. You simply create a group of skills and name the group. This can make life a lot easier, especially for individuals with busy lifestyles. You could say “Alexa, good morning” and your automated coffee pot can start brewing like an Alexa coffee maker while your kitchen lights turn on.
More Device Support
Amazon has invested a lot of money in home automation products and services. In fact, on February 27, 2018, the retail giant purchased Ring, a very popular maker of home automation products. Ring is best known for offering a doorbell with a security camera inside. The camera can be accessed remotely and is compatible with Alexa. With the Echo Spot and Echo Show, you can get a live feed of your front door.
Samsung SmartThings is considered one of the best lines of home automation products. SmartThings products work seamlessly with Alexa and you control any of the following using your voice:
By exploring the Alexa Skills store on Amazon’s website, you’ll be surprised by the large number of supported products within their database. Check back regularly since you’ll find more and more home automation products listed each time.
Don’t Need an Echo Device
One of the biggest misconceptions about using Alexa for home automation is that you need an Echo product to use the service. Although having an Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot or Echo Spot has perks you can actually use Alexa directly through the application. After downloading the app, you will find a microphone app at the top of the page. Simply tap the icon and the microphone turns on and you can say a command to connect with one of your home automation devices. As long as the home automation device is linked with the application, you’ll have voice control over it. If your device isn’t connected, select “Discover Devices” from the application to start the syncing process. In the case that you do decide to purchase an Echo, you’ll find many of the devices very affordable. Models like the Echo Dot start at under $50. The Echo Plus is more expensive, but is a sound investment for home automation reasons. It comes with a built-in ZigBee smart home hub. This allows for control over the line of compatible ZigBee outlets, lights and locks from makers such as GE, Phillips and Kwikset.
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