Would you like to have an assistant that can control electrical appliances, lights or call a taxi? This is not a fantasy, smart home with Alexa from Amazon Echo makes it all possible today.
What Amazon speakers can do?
They answer questions, remind you of plans, etc. They can control lighting, regulate heating, and turn on the TV. To control your intelligent system at home by voice, you need devices compatible with Echo speakers.
Usually, the connection works quite simple: the Echo detects devices directly or using the hub and the software for the voice assistant. Once installed and configured, the devices will be controlled via voice commands such as “Alexa, turn on the light” or “Alexa, dim the living room lights by 20 percent.”
The main advantages of Amazon speakers are the following:
- “Always ready” mode. You don’t need to search for the remote control or the button you want, it’s easy to turn on the App. Just call Alexa.
- Excellent level of speech recognition.
- Full control over your smart home system through a smart speaker.
- Aesthetic and simple design.
Today, in addition to the basic Echo model, there are versions of smart speakers: Dot, Plus, and Show. They all differ in size and technical characteristics.
Amazon Speaker features
|Model||Echo Dot (4th Gen)||Amazon Echo (4th Gen)||Echo Plus (2nd Gen)||Echo Show 8|
|Price||From $49.99||From $100||From $75.99||From &105|
|Speaker||1.6″ speaker||3″ woofer, dual front-firing 0.8″ tweeters||.8″ tweeter and 3″ woofer||2 x 2-inches @ 10W per channel|
|Dimensions||3.9″ x 3.5″ x 3.9″||5.7″ x 5.7″ x 5.2″||5.8″ x 3.9″ x 3.9″||7.9″ x 5.4″ x 3.9″|
|Weight||12 oz||32 oz||27.5 oz||36.6 oz|
|Display||LED-display shows time, outdoor temperature, timers, and alarms||_||_||8.0-inch with 1280 x 800 resolution|
|Buttons||Volume up and down, Mic off, Action button||Volume, mic off, and action buttons are on top||Volume, mic off, and action buttons are on top||Built-in camera shutter and microphone/camera off button|
Built your intelligent dwelling with Alexa
It is no longer a problem to find suitable products.
Most of the smart home equipment responds directly to Amazon Alexa or can be connected through different hubs
Moreover, on December 18, 2019, Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance announced their intention to create a common language for all elements of all smart homes in the world. This is a set of protocols, rules, and communication technologies, thanks to which all new devices and programs for a smart home will be compatible with each other. This is CHoIP — Connected Home over IP. True, so far this is a project, albeit with an open-source code. A preliminary version of CHoIP is going to be posted on GitHub in the near future.
Meanwhile, we offer you a list of popular and reliable smart home products for Alexa. Thanks to the open API, there are many Alexa compatible smart home services and devices.
Among these devices compatible with Alexa, the following are the best ones:
- Ecobee Smart Light is Alexa compatible switch that allows controlling the light in each room using a voice command via Amazon Echo or via Wi-Fi connection.
- Ecobee Switch+ with built-in Alexa voice assistant. It is able not only to execute user commands given by voice or remotely via Wi-Fi from a smartphone but also to communicate with him. There is a built-in light indicator, speaker, and microphone.
- White Starter Kit smart bulbs from Philips Hue are able to work in conjunction with Alexa and Siri.
- Smart bulbs White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit is another product from Philips Hue. They are also compatible with Alexa and Siri, can change their color.
- Philips Hue Go lamp is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, the charge of which is enough for 3 hours of powering a lamp with a luminosity of 300 lumens.
- Luminous LED Lightstrip from the same manufacturer. You can cut the tape into separate strips of any length. It is compatible with Alexa via the hub Hue Bridge.
- Line of lamps LIFX-19 includes multi-color lights, IR lights for night vision cameras and multi-color LED strips.
- TP-Link smart lamps are directly compatible with Alexa, you can connect devices to the voice assistant without using hubs. It allowed the company to significantly reduce the price.
- The Ecobee-4 thermostat has permanent built-in access to the Alexa voice assistant. In addition, it is equipped with a display, microphone, and speaker for voice communication with the owner.
- A smart device for the Invoxia Triby refrigerator allows you to remotely monitor the temperature inside, changing the setting modes. The most unusual thing is that you can even make phone calls with this device.
- Thermostat from Honeywell Lyric is able to work with both HomeKit and Alexa through the SmartThings hub.
- Google Nest Learning thermostat. Although it is made by Google, it works well in smart home with the Assistant Alexa. There is a sensor that adjusts the temperature, depending on the presence of people in the room.
- Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable thermostat works directly with Alexa. It has no fancy design and no funky color display but it does have scheduled work, direct internet connection, and an attractive price.
- August Smart Lock allows you to both lock doors using Alexa and open them. You need to give the command to the smart speaker by voice or send the code via Wi-Fi.
- Security system Scout Alarm is directly integrated with Alexa and has the functions of remote activating and deactivating, and can also call emergency services.
- Netgear Arlo Security Camera has the video skills for transferring images directly to the owner’s smartphone or tablet using Echo.
- Ring Video Doorbell. Its many smart features include a removable battery, Alexa voice control, zone monitoring, and alert scheduling.
Although Alexa can control a large number of smart home devices, most integrations require a hub as a linking device. It can be inconvenient but since devices with Alexa require wireless communication in order to communicate directly with each other, this kind of interaction is necessary. The most popular are hubs from Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, and Vivint.
Apart from the many differentthat work with Amazon Alexa, there are many additional services available for this virtual helper. All these services undoubtedly make your life at home more convenient.
- IFTTT is a service that helps integrate Amazon Echo with other services and devices that do not directly communicate with Alexa.
- HomeAdvisor helps you find plumbers, electricians and more information about home services. Recently, the service announced the integration with Alexa, which will allow you to select the desired service and make a call to a specialist.
- KidsMD is one of Alexa’s coolest integrations, created by Boston Children’s Hospital. It allows you to describe the symptoms of your child’s illness and find out if you need to call a doctor and also find out the exact dose of a particular medication, based on the age and weight of the child.
- GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub is an irrigation controller. In addition, it is integrated with plant growth sensors and a weather station, which allows you to better manage your vegetable garden. With Alexa integration, you can turn on/off irrigation, control street lighting, and get information about water consumption.
Excellent compatibility with other devices is one of the main Amazon advantages
And the list of skills for the Alexa smart home application has more than 15 thousand positions and this is not the limit! At the same time, the developers are constantly working to improve and expand the capabilities of the voice assistant.