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Automation Five: Alexa

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015

Dave!Welcome to Home Automation Week at Blogography!

So... the INSTEON solution for Apple HomeKit integration, the Hub Pro, leaves a lot to be desired. It only works with a handful of devices, which means HomeKit voice control via Siri is half-assed at best. Which sucks, because being able to literally tell your home what you want it to do is the brass ring of home automation.

Lucky for us, there's another solution for that.

It's Amazon Echo, which is better-known by the "wake word" you use to activate it... Alexa.

I've actually owned one for quite a while, but the novelty wore off quickly given the limited amount of things you can do with it...

   
But all that changed once Alexa got INSTEON integration.

Now voice-control for my automated home is a reality.

And it's pretty awesome.

"Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights."

"Alexa, dim the dining room lights 50%."

"Alexa, brighten the living room lights."

"Alexa, turn off the garbage disposal."

"Alexa, turn off the lights."

Anything that can be turned on or off via an INSTEON switch can be discovered then controlled by Alexa. You can even set up groups of items within the Amazon Echo app so you can control multiple devices at the same time. And while Alexa doesn't understand what I'm saying every once in a while, "she" pretty much nails my requests spot-on every time.

And that feels more incredible than I thought it would.

Thanks to my INSTEON automation system and Amazon Echo's ability to integrate with it, my home now has ears and a voice.

But what about eyes? We'll get to that tomorrow.

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Categories: Home RenovationClick To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Andy says:

    Great series this week – this year has been home automation for me too, with Christmas being the opportunity to expand. I got an echo for THanksgiving and its been pretty neat with all the integration including voice controlling the wink enabled lights. We’ve been very impressed.

    Smartthings hubs will be installed later this week for what I hope will be better control.

  2. martymankins says:

    I totally forgot about Amazon Echo (which my wife wants after we visited my friends house and watching him use it).

    I like how well integrated Echo is with the INSTEON switches.

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