Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant which controls home automation devices. She is activatedthrough a voice command platform and looks geared to control several smart home products as tech companies look to integrate their products with Alexa.
Amazon has enabled third party manufacturers to embed Alexa into their devices. This has led to Alexa being geared to control many automated devices in your home. She can even joke with you, apart from helping you in running a smooth automated home. She can inform you about stock prices, traffic and the weather. Let’s see what else Alexa’s capable of:
The Alexa app has been built into Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, which can connect to the net, play music from Spotify, Amazon Prime and your phone, and order products from Amazon just by your voice commands. Amazon Tap and Fire TV also use Alexa’a smarts to function. The Fire TV stick uses the remote interface to use Alexa.
Samsung’s family hub fridge also has Alexa as to communicate with you. So does Inoxia Triby, a hub which can play music, display doodles and make calls to phones having the app. Ford vehicles having Ford sync will have Alexa integration which will enable drivers to enjoy Echo’s features in the car itself.
Alexa can control the lights in the house with smart lightbulbs. You can ask her to switch the lights on or off, and the smart bulbs with Alexa integration will be controlled through your voice, wherever you may be.
Cooling and heating
Alexa’s upgrade by Amazon to include thermostat support, means that you can control the cooling and heating of your home with the Skills Kit of Alexa.
Though Alexa can control lots of devices, most integrations require a go between smart hub to
function. The hubs which have integrated Alexa are SmartThings, Wink, etc through which you can control air vents, thermostats, smart bulbs, basically any product which is compatible with SmartThings or Wink.
Outlets, switches and dimmers
Things can become really convenient in your house if the outlets, plugs and switches can be controlled via one central app, and Alexa compatible outlets, switches and plugs can let you do just that. Garbage disposal to ceiling fans can be controlled by your commands through Alexa.
Apart from devices, you can use Alexa for many services as well, such as checking your bank balance, ordering a pizza, weather conditions, getting a cab and even ask her to tell you a joke, to lift your spirits.
Send flowers to a loved one just by asking Alexa to do so and she will make all the arrangements. Alexa can find plumbers, electricians and other professionals, book tickets to your chosen vacation spot, order your groceries, check your kid’s symptoms, play music and more.
With devices like Automatic that connects to the car’s diagnostic port, you can ask Alexa your last parking spot, how much fuel you have, and about all the data relevant to your car. Garageio is a device that connects via wifi up to 3 garage doors, and you can control your garage doors by asking Alexa to open or close them.
With FitBit integration, Alexa can tell you the number of steps you’ve walked, the amount of calories you burned, if you slept well and other fitness related information.
Some sprinkler systems with Alexa integration lets you control sprinkler zones, manage your garden and yard, manage water consumption data, and of course, switch your sprinklers on and off.
Several home security systems connect to Alexa, allowing you to disarm and arm your systems from a remote location.
Making free calls via the internet
You can make calls with Alexa with an Ooma Telo landline phone which is connected to the net. It makes calls via the net and is an option to think about if you want to have a landline.
Alexa’s versatility allows it to control almost every aspect of home automation. From controlling your front door locks, lighting, fans, security, TV, appliances, cooling and heating to your sprinkler system, Alexa is set to be the master of your home automation.