Amazon Echo now does home automation
Update: as June 23rd, the general public can now pre-order Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) with an “in stock” date of July 14th.
Amazon sent me a copy of an e-mail that went to
I’m not quite one of those yet. 🙂 Mine is supposed to be here by 8:00 PM tomorrow night…although it says it hasn’t shipped (they could still make it).
This brings a feature which people have really wanted!
The Echo, which is not yet on sale to the general public (Prime members have been able to request invitations to purchase it at about $100 ((roughly half price)), but that has just been turned off, perhaps portending general sale soon), is Amazon’s “ambient computing” device.
You have it in your house…and you talk to it, and it does stuff. 😉
It’s been able to do quite a few things (add things to a shopping list, play music, tell jokes, do traffic, do weather…), but we’ve all been picturing it as being able to take actions with things in our houses.
“Alexa, play some Barry White…and dim the lights.” 😉
“Alexa, start my coffeemaker.”
“Alexa, turn off my holiday lights.”
Well, that ability is now here!
I’ve asked for permission to share that e-mail, if I can, I will.
I did want to go ahead and tell you more about it.
This may seem like a silly thing, but for people with a disability, it can be very important. Some people have a hard time manipulating a tablet or a phone. Think of someone like Stephen Hawking, who has the ability to speak (with a synthesized voice), but can’t physically do much.
For other people, it will just be cool…like Star Trek.
The basic way it works is that you plug something into a home automation device. You name the item, and then you have the Echo “discover it” on your wi-fi network.
At that point, you can tell the Echo (in a normal voice, even across the room) what do with it.
It will work with these home automation devices at this point (might work with more)
- Belkin WeMo Switch, Control Your Electronics From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
- Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, Control Your Electronics and Monitor Energy Usage From Anywhere with the Home Automation App for Smartphones and Tablets, Wi-Fi Enabled (at AmazonSmile*)
- Belkin WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled (at AmazonSmile*)
- Philips 452714 9W (60-Watt) A19 Hue Lux Connected Home LED Starter Kit, Frustration Free (at AmazonSmile*)
- Philips 452722 9W (60-Watt) A19 Hue Lux Connected Home LED Light Bulb (at AmazonSmile*)
- Philips 432690 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting BR30 Single Bulb, Frustration Free (at AmazonSmile*)
- Philips 259945 Frustration Free Friends of Hue Personal Wireless Single Lighting Bloom (at AmazonSmile*)
- Philips 259982 Friends of Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Lightstrip Single, Frustration Free (*at AmazonSmile*)
Gee, that might give a different meaning to using your “inside voice”. 😉
The future is yours…just for the asking!
“It’s time to put on makeup…it’s time to light the lights!”
I could keep going… 😉
Update: just got permission to quote the e-mail:
WeMo and Philips Hue products now work with Amazon Echo.
You can now use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger…or even raising your voice.
To get started, connect your WeMo and Hue devices to your home Wi-Fi and name them in their respective app. Then say, “Alexa, discover my appliances.” After Echo’s confirmation, you can control your devices by voice.
Things to try:
- “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”
- WeMo: Switch, Insight Switch, and Light Switch
- Hue: A19, Lux, BR30, Bloom, and LightStrip lights
As always, the Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho).
Bonus deal: I don’t like to do a post without doing something on books: here are a few notable recent discounts. I got these by going to what I consider the best resource for Kindle book buyers on the web,
I am not connected with them except as a user, although we have had correspondence.
- Marley and Me by John Grogan: $4.32 (down from $10.19)
- In Good Faith (Joe Dillard #2) by Scott Pratt: $0.99 (down from $3.99)
- Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury: $4.20 (down from $9.48)
- Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar: $2.99 (down from $9.59)
Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.