Amazon's voice-controlled assistant can do a lot, from playing your favorite music to answering trivia questions. Yes, Alexa has lots of skills. But it can also be used to control a wide range of smart-home devices. Here are some of the top smart-home gadgets that the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap can control.
The best part of waking up … is the smell of freshly-brewed coffee without having to get up and brew it yourself. With this Mr. Coffee machine (forget those wasteful Keurig appliances), just ask Alexa to brew you a pot and you'll get a notification when it's ready.
To spare you from yelling across the room, over music, kids screaming, or whatever noise tends to fill your home, you'll soon be able to use the Orion Onyx lapel-worn smart walkie-talkie to reach Alexa when it's time to turn off your lights and TV at bedtime. The gadget willtake whatever other commands you need to deliver.
Philips sells several different types of LED lights, but the company's basic package includes two bulbs (extras cost $15 each) as well as a small hub that links the lights to your Wi-Fi. From there, you can command Alexa to dim the lights, and the bulbs will respond. The bulbs in this kit don't change color, though; for that, you'll want the hue white and color ambiance A19 bulb starter kit.
After you connect the Ecobee 3 thermostat, you can simply ask Alexa to turn the temperature up or down, and the ecobee will respond. Plus, you can integrate it with other smart-home devices to create so-called scenes, so that the temperature and lights will both turn down when you say, "Goodnight," for example.
This little device makes anything you plug into it "smart," allowing you to control it via your smartphone, even when you're not at home. The Insight Switch also lets you set schedules for when the switch should turn on or off, and even tells you how much power the connected appliance is drawing. You can also integrate the Insight switch with other smart-home products through IFTTT.
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