There are dozens of connected light switches that can be controlled by Alexa with more being constantly released. None of them can do what the newly announced light switch from iDevices can do. With a built-in microphone and speaker, the Instinct, as it is being named, is a light switch that essentially doubles as an Echo Dot. You can, of course, control it through Alexa, but you don’t need a smart speaker or other Alexa-enabled device to do so, since you can talk to it directly.
The iDevices Instinct includes dimming capabilities and sensors for light and motion, which can be used to trigger lighting changes. The light ring only illuminates when it hears the wake word for Alexa. It can also be controlled by the Google Assistant and Siri, but only Alexa is accessible through the switch itself.
Importantly, iDevices says the light switch supports Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) so if you have multiple switches or other Alexa devices around, only the closest one will respond to your voice request. Surprisingly, it also supports Alexa grouping so that it can be incorporated into multi-room music groups. While its built-in speaker will likely not fill a room with music, grouping is a nice capability to have for ambient background music. Unsurprisingly, the light switch does not support Alexa calling or messaging.
Ecobee announced a similar light switch with built in Alexa capabilities early last year, but we haven’t heard anything about it since. iDevices may beat them to release because the Instinct will come out later this year. A price hasn’t been announced, but you can probably expect it to be over $100.