What makes Amazon’s Alexa a great device for home automation? They have made it possible to integrate voice commands with so many different devices from lighting control, thermostats, alarms, other larger automation systems, and of course their Fire TV devices. Alexa is not perfect, but she does a pretty damn good job.
Let's get the bad over with. Voice command is not perfect. Ambient noise is still a problem. There is no logic built in! You have to say predetermined voice commands and not what you are thinking about instead. It would be great if you could give her a string of commands and she could sort through them and just get it done. Another bad, if you are one that worries about government or private sector spying on you, there is an active microphone listening at all times. The saving grace to this is it has a microphone mutton button it.
There are too many good features that I cannot dive into all of them in this article. It would be very long and at some point, people would fall asleep attempting to read it all. Some of the obvious ones are connecting to Amazon music streaming services and playing music through either the Echo Dot or the Echo Plus devices. You can set timers, ask direct questions about searchable facts, send alerts through other Alexa devices in your house, or even order items on your Amazon account! That is just scratching the surface really. When connecting to other devices you will have to review the skills list and make sure it is compatible as well as what the commands that you can use.
Just think, you could lock your front door, turn a light on, order your favorite Amazon Prime item while listening to music! Other items that make this Alexa dream great is their Echo Show touch screen. You can screen to screen chat with people as well as all the same fun as the Echo lineups. The Echo Spot, Echo Input, and the Fire TV Cube are a few other items in their lineup. The Fire TV Cube is one of the few TV offerings they have. The Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Recast are a great addition to have. They will give you access to not only Amazon’s Streaming service but also with the recast, the ability to DVR items as well. Outside of the obvious Amazon Streaming, they offer the ability to use other services as well.
So, the short and simple of Amazon Alexa is it’s an awesome gadget to add to your home automation system to do some cool hands-free automation. Make sure you have your thinking cap on so you can remember the voice commands you want. If you sign up to their newsletter you can also learn each week of new skills added and some funny or interesting voice commands.
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