There are many ways to leverage the powers of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in your house right now. But perhaps the easiest and most powerful way is to leverage the capabilities of Amazon Alexa. Alexa is a very smart, cloud enabled artificial intelligence tool that delivers incredible power from the Amazon cloud. The easy way to get Alexa is from devices made by Amazon, like the Amazon Echo (very smart speaker and voice powered interface to the power of Alexa), Echo Spot (great Alexa capabilities but small video screen too) and Echo Show (designed to bring video to anyone anywhere, as well as Alexa). But of all the capabilities in the Echo/Alexa family, perhaps the most interesting and powerful is the new Amazon Echo Plus.
The Echo Plus brings all the power of Alexa, but it also provides an ability to directly control most commercial Internet of Things connected devices.
In other words, the Echo Plus gives you a smart home hub. Here are the details:
- Echo Plus is a simple way to start your smart home. It has a built-in ZigBee smart home hub, which allows for simple and direct setup of compatible ZigBee lights, locks, plugs, and in-wall switches from brands like Philips Hue, GE, and Yale. No additional hub required.
- Echo Plus connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set timers and alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more—instantly.
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms. Echo Plus can also play audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more.
- Call or message anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Improved speakers with Dolby processing deliver crisp vocals and extended bass to fill the room with immersive, 360° audio
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.
This is really a great way to start your smart home. For more see: Amazon Echo Plus