If we talk about smart homes in Australia, it’s safe to say that we are truly in the “Golden Age” when it comes to technological advancements thanks to new innovations surfacing every 6 months or so. Just recently, Amazon introduced “Echo”, a personal voice-activated assistant that is perfect for homes and offices.
While Amazon Echo’s capabilities are comparable with Google’s voice-activated virtual assistant, and Apple’s Siri, what sets them apart is the Echo’s compatibility with home automation hardware. Today, we have the opportunity to use voice control to turn the lights on and off, as well as control other smart devices in your house.
Amazon Echo in a nutshell
The Amazon Echo is a voice-activated device that is designed to provide information as well as activate various voice-controlled commands at your convenience. You can the Echo to ask questions, make reminders, set alarms, play music and more. Thanks to the new firmware update, you have the ability to turn light on and off without the need to use a smart home controller or smartphones and tablets.
One of the best features of the Amazon Echo is its far-field voice recognition. Inside the Echo, you will find seven microphones that are strategically placed to have the capability to hear you from every direction. Because the Echo is connected to Amazon Web Services, you can expect that your smart homes in Australia and New Zealand will never be the same again.
Amazon Echo’s Smart Home Hardware Compatibility
As of now, Amazon Echo is compatible with Philips Hue and the Belkin WeMo. If you own these devices, you might find the Echo to be a worthy addition to your smart homes as it eliminates the need to pull out your smartphone and tablets just to control one aspect of the house. Just by using your voice, you can control your smart homes in Australia and New Zealand in a breeze.
What’s even more promising is that the Amazon Echo is open for firmware updates which may give you more compatibility options with other proprietary smart home devices in the near future. Another important thing to include is that the Echo’s cloud-based synchronization will also make your life easier because the Echo gets smarter along the way.
Is the Amazon Echo worth getting?
At the moment, acquiring the Amazon Echo is strictly by invitation only. If you have WeMo and Philips smart bulbs, it would be a great addition to your home automation setup. However, since there are only a few products compatible with Echo, at this point and time, it wouldn’t be that smart to add this to your smart homes in Australia especially if you already have a proper setup for your entertainment and lighting.
What we need to remember is that there is always something new to arrive a few months from now. Pretty soon, you will have a huge number of options when it comes to smart home starter kits. While the Amazon Echo would be a great addition to convenience thanks to its voice-capturing capabilities, until we find more hardware compatibility, I would say stick to what you have for now as it will save you money for something better in the future.