Adding a Smart Home Hub: Amazon Echo

Adding a smart home hub such as the Amazon Echo to your place is great way to connect and expand the capabilities of home automation devices. Seamless control from a central hub adds convenience and maximizes the features for each device you own.  

The Amazon Echo is controlled through voice commands and can perform tasks on its own right out the box, without additional costs. It works off an Amazon cloud-based system called “Alexa,” and to use it, simply speak the activation word “Alexa” followed by a command or question.

The Echo has seven built-in noise cancelling microphones to pick up commands in loud surroundings or when music is playing.

What does Echo do?

Amazon Echo can play your favorite playlists or Pandora music stations with built-in 360° room filling speakers. You can ask general questions such as weather and traffic conditions, and Alexa will have the answers. The Echo also connects to your Amazon Prime account, so you can create shopping lists, place orders, and access Amazon Music.

You can stay updated on sports scores in real time, play audio books, schedule a ride, or even order a pizza. The possibilities are endless, and the more you use it, the smarter it becomes by adapting to your preferences.

What can I ask Amazon Echo?

Here’s a few examples of what you can ask or command Echo to do:     

  • Alexa, tell me a recipe for pasta primavera.
  • Alexa, order the items on my grocery list.
  • Alexa, play modern rock on Pandora music.
  • Alexa, turn the volume up.
  • Alexa, what’s the weather forecast for the week?
  • Alexa, what time is the soccer match?
  • Alexa, what’s the capital of Romania?
  • Alexa, name TV sitcoms from the 90s.
  • Alexa, where’s the closest vegan restaurant?
  • Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?

Smart Home Hub Connectivity

The Amazon Echo is a great addition to your home automation system if you have additional smart products. It connects to other devices and can be used as a central hub to manage them. 

Controlling these other devices will work the same way as the Echo. Just say a command, and Echo will distribute the orders.

The Echo connects with devices such as Philips Hue to control room lighting or Belkin WeMo Smart Outlets and Switches to operate any electronics plugged into them. It also works with the Nest Thermostat to make adjustments to home heating and cooling without leaving the couch! Simply say: “Alexa, set temperature to 68 degrees,” and it’ll be done.

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo has a smaller member in its family called the Echo Dot. The Dot can accomplish everything the Echo can, but due to the size, the Echo has a more robust sound. The Echo is a tall, 9-inch-high unit with multiple speakers built-in, and the Echo Dot is about the size of a hockey puck and features one speaker.

Don’t be fooled by its small size, the Echo Dot’s ability to control a full home automation system is just as powerful as the Echo.

Interested in learning more about this amazing and beneficial smart home addition? Check out the Amazon Echo and other smart home hubs here, and turn your house into a connected home today.

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