Amazon Echo and the newer Echo Dot have been longstanding the most popular voice control system for smart homes. The microphone is able to pick up commands from an impressive range. Amazon Alexa is the name of the software that you interact with (similar to “Siri”).
The speakers can reach a good volume with a decent sound quality. For light music listening or background music they work great, although for louder music are not the best choice. Although it is possible to control other speakers and sound systems with the Echo Dot as well. It can connect via an aux cord, or even use bluetooth.
The Amazon Echo was the first product in this line, and the newer Echo dot provides the same capabilities, at a much cheaper price ($50.00). This small size allows for portability, and the ability to easily add the dot to multiple rooms to work together. The new Echo dot doesn’t have as good of a speaker built in as the Echo, but still gets a great volume level for commands. The best use case is to hook it up to external speakers for anyways.
Alexa can also connect to other hubs like the Samsung smart things. Doing something like this will enable Alexa voice control to integrate nicely with your devices.
The Alexa devices allow for integration with many of the most popular smart home devices. Things like playing music with Spotify or other services. Or ordering pizza from dominos, or even fetching an Uber.
Voice commands are enabled by saying “Alexa” (again similar to “Siri”), followed by whatever you would like to ask or tell Alexa to do. Questions like asking the weather work great by simply asking Alexa… What is the weather. Its a great hands free solution to add into a smart home mix.
Since the original Echo came out a little over a year ago, Google has since released its own voice control hub called Google Home, which also looks very interesting. Its great to see some competition. The third option for voice controlled systems is to use Siri with HomeKit from your apple devices.