The Latest Trend in Smart Home Automation: Voice Control
See How Amazon Alexa can Make Life Easier for You
Technology is always changing, and smart home technology in particular has been advancing at an incredible pace. The biggest innovation that has been taking the Cumming, Georgia area by storm recently has been a new way to control your home’s technology using just your voice. So if you haven’t upgraded your smart home automation system in the last few years (or are just starting out and want to make sure you have the latest and greatest tech), then keep reading to learn about how to take advantage of Amazon Alexa in your home.
What is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant installed in an Amazon speaker such as the Echo and Echo Dot. It is designed to work completely hands-free. Whenever you want to use the device, you simply say “Alexa.”
What Can I Do with It?
The answer to that question is dependent on whether you’re sticking with the basic functionality of the Echo Dot or integrating Amazon Alexa into a Control4 smart home automation system. On its own, an Echo Dot can do things like set timers and alarms, stream music, tell jokes, order pizza, inform you about the weather or recent news, and even let you know how long your commute to work will be. But the real fun happens when you connect Alexa to a smart home system.
Using Alexa and a smart home automation platform such as Control4, you can do these things with one simple voice command:
“Alexa, turn on the lights.”
Alexa can control all of the lights throughout your home. In addition to turning lights on or off, the voice-controlled device can dim lighting fixtures to certain brightness levels. This skill is particularly useful when you’re walking into a dark house in the evening with your arms full of shopping bags.
“Alexa, lower the temperature.”
For those moments when the room feels a bit too warm or cold, Alexa can handle adjusting the thermostat so that you don’t have to get up from your seat and adjust it manually.
“Alexa, close the window shades.”
Have you ever been relaxing on the couch in the evening and had the setting sun cause a glare right in your eyes? Instead of having to draw the shades manually, just ask Alexa to close or open them.
“Alexa, turn on the TV.”
While there are definitely times when a physical remote is the better option for controlling your media, there are also times when it’s nice to have Alexa do it for you. Change the channel, turn on music, adjust the volume, and so on.
“Alexa, arm the security system.”
While you might not want to have your security system disarmed by someone simply asking Alexa, it can be helpful to give Alexa the ability to arm the system. When you’ve settled in bed for the night and realize you’ve forgotten to lock the doors or turn on the alarm, just ask Alexa.
“Alexa, turn on bedtime.”
One of our favorite Alexa skills is the ability to save multiple settings as a custom “scene.” These scenes have the preset lighting, music, security, climate, etc. for any given activity, such as watching a movie or waking up in the morning. So instead of going through each command individually (e.g. “Alexa, raise the window shades. Alexa, dim the lights. Alexa, raise the temperature.”) all you have to do is ask Alexa to turn on that scene.
How Can I Get Started?
On its own, an Amazon Echo or Dot is super simple to set up. Just plug it in, connect to the internet, and you’re good to go! To take advantage of the advanced settings available with a smart home, you’ll need a smart system like Control4. We can help design and install a custom Control4 system for your home, complete with voice control capabilities.
If you already have a smart home automation system and would like to start using voice control, just give us a call at 770.888.8848 or fill out this quick form. We’ll integrate Amazon Alexa throughout your home so that you can use Control4’s full capabilities via your voice.
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