Amazon’s Echo device is transforming the way people interact with their homes. Powered by voice-controlled assistant Alexa, the Echo can do a host of things — from the very useful to the very silly. Tapping “If This Then That” or IFTTT technology, Echo links to connected devices and “recipes” to deliver smart home results.
Take a look at just a few of the ways to use Echo in your home:
Even renters can install smart home systems with the Amazon Echo. Alarm system controls are possible through the device, among other “smart” options. Just say the word, and Echo can deliver your smart home command.
With a simple voice command, you can control the lighting in your home, based on the lights you use. Both Philip’s Hue bulbs and the Belkin WeMo Switch have the ability to sync to the Echo for voice-powered switching on and off.
Forget setting your alarm clock or even the alarm on your phone. Tell Alexa that you need her to wake you up at a certain time, and she’ll do it. You can even determine how you want the alarm notification delivered (voices, sounds, songs, and more). You can also use Alexa to set reminders at a certain time, so you never miss another appointment.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can listen to anything on Amazon Music by requesting it from Alexa. Spotify premium accounts can sync to the Echo, along with Pandora and several other music apps. You can even upload your mp3 files and listen to them on command.
Let Echo read you a story, or catch you up on the latest items in your newsfeed. Audible and Kindle users can enjoy their audiobooks with ease. Don’t expect a “book on tape” experience because Alexa isn’t exactly an Oscar-nominee. If you are just wanting to hear the information, though, Alexa can read it to you and read it well.
Too cold to come out from under those blankets, or just too tired? Give Echo the command to adjust your thermostat up or down with just your voice. Nest is one of the most recognizable names that offers an Alexa app, and there are others, too.
Echo offers some built-in options for helping you get in shape, including some exercises that are as short as 7 minutes long. So when you have a few minutes to spare, let Alexa help youwork up a sweat.
You’ll need appliances with smart home connectedness for this to work, but once those are joined, Echo offers seamless control. Insteon, Wink, and SmartThings all offer Alexa-compatible apps to make this happen.
The popular game show delivers daily answers and questions in the same style of the popular program. Test your knowledge and challenge the other people in your home.
Instead of reading a recipe the old-fashioned way on your tablet or phone, let Echo help you cook by reading it to you. Tell the virtual assistant when you’re ready to go from one step to the next without any fear of getting another device dirty in the process.
No switches, no chains to pull — just voice command. There are a few fans you can buy that will sync with the Echo, including ones from Haiku Home.
Using Amazon Echo as a home virtual assistant certainly brings some added convenience and fun. Expect to see many more uses roll out as more smart appsand Echo-connected items hit the market.