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Understanding your Smart Home: What is the Amazon Echo Dot?

Categories: Blog, Smart Homes | Posted: September 19, 2017

Amazon Echo Dot in Smart Home

Here at Royal Oaks, we are really excited about our Smart Homes program. (This new technology will change the way people live in so many ways!) But we also realize that not everyone is as up-to-date on smart home technology as we are. So, we will be doing a series of blogs introducing the products and technology that we are including in our Smart Homes. First up, the Amazon Echo Dot®.

 

Amazon has been at the forefront of smart home services, beginning with its digital personal assistant, Alexa®. When activated, Alexa responds to requests or commands. (“Alexa, dim the lights.” “Alexa, order pizza.”) Alexa is particularly useful for smart home technology users because it allows you to control connected devices without having to take out your phone and launch an app. In effect, Alexa is the commander of your Smart Home!

 

Amazon Echo Dot in Smart Home

In order for Alexa to respond to you, it needs a device with which to hear. Thus, the Amazon Echo®, a smart speaker that connects with Alexa. The Echo can be activated via vocal command or manual control. When on, it actively listens to all speech via microphones, waiting for voice commands. It connects wirelessly with the internet as well as other smart devices. Depending on how it’s programmed, the Echo can connect with other Amazon products or services, as well as compatible non-Amazon apps and devices.

 

Thanks to the Echo’s far-field microphones, Alexa can respond to voice commands from almost anywhere within earshot. Simply say a trigger word (i.e. “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon,” or “Computer”), followed by what you want to happen (i.e. play music, make a phone call, turn off lights, open the front door), and it will be done—as long as you’ve set up everything properly and are using the correct command.

Amazon Echo Dot in Smart Home

In our Smart Homes, we have chosen the Amazon Echo Dot®, a smaller, less obtrusive version of the Echo speaker. Resembling a hockey puck, it does everything the full-size Echo does. Which in our homes means it communicates with all of our smart home devices and technology – including the wi-fi-enabled learning thermostats from Nest®, the all-seeing video doorbells from Ring®, the super efficient lighting features from Lutron Caseta® outlets & switches, and the reassuring August Smart Locks®.

Tune in to our next Smart Home blog when we’ll introduce you to the wonders of the Nest Learning Thermostat.

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