Amazon’s voice-controlled speaker, the Amazon Echo, keeps getting more useful. A couple months ago it gained the ability to control more music services. With the recent introduction of a development kit, it has ventured into the ever growing world of smart home control. The Amazon Echo can now control Philips Hue lights and Belkin WeMo devices. This could well be the most usefully addition the Echo has seen since it began shipping last year.
Simply say “Alexa, discover my appliances” and Echo will automatically locate compatible devices. For Philips’s lights, the Echo will initially support the Hue A19 bulb, Philip Lux, Bloom lamp, and Hue lightstrip. You can say things like “Alexa, turn on the living room light”, or for more flexibility, you can say “Alexa, dim the bedroom lights to 30%”.
Real flexibility comes with the new Belkin WeMo support. Since you can connect anything to a WeMo outlet, you’re be able to speak commands like “Alexa, turn on the coffee maker” or “Alexa, turn off the space heater.” The possibilities are numerous.