March 22, 2017
Clearly, the Amazon Echo gives us a clear look into the future of an intelligent home.
It’s not flawless, but whether you’re thinking of buying an Echo, or hear people talking about “Alexa,” below you’ll find some great things you can do with it!
Echo, on the surface, seems like a niche product in an already overcrowded market of Bluetooth speakers. After we examined the Echo, however, we saw how well it works with other devices. Here are some awesome things Echo can do.
Play Virtually Any Song You Want By Just Asking
What is Echo? The Echo is a speaker and it plays music. Before Echo launched, you could only play music from your smart phone, like any other Bluetooth speaker, by requesting music through Amazon Prime Music, or asking for songs you’ve uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive yourself. Amazon’s music library is big enough that you can ask for a song and you’ll get it, but you can also request music from categories such as Playlists or by Artist. Moreover, the Echo can offer a playlist for your mood, or for a specific holiday or set a particular atmosphere. (Can you say romance and Barry White?) Here’s an example of some Echo commands:
- Alexa, play some Christmas music.
- Alexa, play some Rock n’ Roll.
- Alexa, play some Michael Jackson.
- Alexa, play my Jazz playlist.
- Now you can use Spotify and Pandora, too. If you pay for Spotify and want to get everything it has to offer with the Echo, you only need to ask:
- Alexa, play pop music from Spotify.
- Alexa, play songs by The Allman Bros. from Pandora.
You can also ask for playlists, genres, and even composers so long as you end your commands with from Spotify or Pandora.
Isn’t it nice to know when you get feature upgrades or what features are available? With the Echo, you can just ask:
Alexa, what new features do I have?
Whenever Amazon adds something new, they program an explanation into Alexa and it’ll give you all the details after you ask it the question.
Build and Control a Smart Home, Even If You Rent!
Can Echo work well only for homeowners? What if you rent? Is Echo still worth it? Absolutely! Even if you rent, you can control your lights, the temperature in your apartment, and even turn on your streaming recording for a later time.
Here is what I like the most about Echo.
Voice commands. For example:
- Alexa, turn the bathroom lights on. (I have a set of Philips Hue lights that are specified as the bedroom lights for Alexa, so she knows which ones to access when I refer to them as such.)
- Alexa, turn the kitchen lights to 50%. Want less light in a room? Just ask for a percentage.
- Alexa, turn the thermostat down to to 70 degrees. If you have a connected thermostat like the Nest or Ecobee 3, you can set it up to respond to a command like this.
If you have any questions about using Echo or setting up a Home Automation system that will “Wow” you, your family and friends, call One Touch Media Designs for a free consultation!