Amazon Echo update enables smart home control

Amazon keeps adding useful functionality to the Echo, and the current update adds smart home control by voice.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
The Amazon Echo updates keep rolling out, and the latest adds support for WeMo and Hue devices. This enables users to control lighting in the home by voice.

Once supported devices are connected in their respective apps, the Amazon Echo will search for them with the command "Alexa, discover my appliances". From that point on they can be controlled by voice through "Alexa", the AI in the Echo (or "Amazon" if you've changed the AI name).

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According to Amazon, the following are some of the commands that will execute common smart home functions:

  • "Alexa, turn on the hallway light"
  • "Alexa, turn on the coffee maker"
  • "Alexa, dim the living room lights to 20%"
  • "Alexa, turn on the electric blanket"
  • "Alexa, turn on the outdoor decorations"

These appliances are currently supported for use with the Echo:

  • WeMo: Switch, Insight Switch, Light Switch
  • Hue: A19, Lux, BR30, Bloom, and LightStrip lights

The update is rolling out now and will be pushed to the Amazon Echo. Features are being added to the Echo regularly, greatly expanding the usefulness of Amazon's gadget for the home. This will get even better once developers start producing apps with the recently announced Echo SDK.

I guess there's now a reason to buy this expensive WeMo smart coffee maker.

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