Amazon Echo gets StubHub Skills and more smarthome integration

Third party Echo apps appear under Alexa's "Skills", showing the future possibilities for a broad ecosystem. Alexa now works with Levitron, Lightify and Cree smarthome products, too.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

The Amazon Echo keeps getting smarter, as promised.

On Friday, Amazon Echo gained new smarthome product integrations as well as an early look at a trio of third-party apps. These are dubbed Alexa's "Skills" and can be enabled through the Amazon Echo companion app.

StubHub is the first big name under Skills. I enabled the feature on my my Echo and Alexa asked me to set a home city. I told her to use Philadelphia since that's the closest big town around me. Now, when asking "Alexa, ask StubHub what is happening this weekend?" she tells me about different activities taking place nearby.

The other two Skills, Math Puzzles and Crystal Ball, are aimed at entertainment.

The former provides a series of numbers and you have to guess what the next number in the sequence is, while the latter is a digital version of the old Magic 8-ball toy, providing random answers to a yes/no question.

On the smarthome front, both Leviton and Lightify products work with the Echo when paired with a Wink hub. I don't have any products from those brands yet, but I'm thrilled with how simple it was to add connected light bulb controls to the Echo with Wink.

And although Amazon didn't formally announce it, Cree informed me that its connected bulbs are officially Wink-certified to work with Amazon Echo. I do have a Cree bulb connected to the Echo through my Wink hub and found that at $15 a bulb, it's one of the least expensive ways to add smart bulbs to a home with Echo.

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