For decades, people have watched movies and television shows about technology and its impact on the future. From flying cars to friendly robots, we can all observe the ways in which the future is quickly becoming the present. Over the last few years, home automation has emerged and taken over the mainstream market; bringing sophisticated skillsets to our homes. Leading the way in this new era of home automation is Amazon's Echo. Known by most as Amazon Alexa, The Echo is a voice controlled speaker, home automation device and personal assistant. Most importantly, Amazon Alexa is smart. Over 4,000 skills have been added in just the past 90 days, and Amazon Alexa continues to expand its knowledge daily. Amazon allows other companies and individuals to integrate with the Amazon Alexa. Home automation company Crestron has integrated its systems with Amazon Alexa to create the home of the future.
Crestron is a company that provides integrated systems for audio and video, shades and blinds, lighting, temperature control and other components for home automation. Crestron provides complete solutions for full home automation by providing an assortment of products ranging from speakers and audio receivers to lighting and shade controls. By combining the voice control of Amazon Alexa with Crestron's total integration system, homeowners can now control their home automation setup completely hands-free.
At its core, Amazon Alexa is a personal assistant. Alexa can perform basic tasks such as searching for information, adding products to a shopping list and playing music upon request. What makes Amazon Alexa so special is the ability to speak naturally to the device without having to stop and press a button. Amazon Alexa is always listening, so there's no need to interact with the speaker itself before talking to Alexa. Beyond the typical commands of any virtual personal assistant, Amazon Alexa can integrate with websites, applications and appliances to provide additional functionality. These integrations are known as "skills", and Amazon Alexa learns new skills daily. Skills are customizable, and can be added via the Amazon Alexa application available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The possibilities for what Amazon Alexa can learn are endless. Currently you can ask Alexa to perform tasks such as ordering pizza, reading audio books, providing facts on specific topics, ordering products from Amazon and even dimming your lights to a setting that suits your mood. Speaking to Alexa is very natural. You can say things like, "Alexa, dim my bedroom lights", "Alexa order more toothpaste", or "Alexa, ask Automatic if I need gas". All the skills available in the Amazon Alexa application have made the Echo a perfect companion to total home automation. On its own, the Amazon Alexa can perform basic home automation tasks; adding Crestron as a partner enhances Alexa's abilities far beyond what was imaginable even 3 years ago. With Crestron integration, Amazon Alexa can control your television, sound system, thermostat, security system, smoke detectors, lighting and a variety of appliances. Imagine arriving to a home that knows exactly what you want. You can have Amazon Alexa close the garage door, turn on the lights and start your favorite music as soon as you enter your home; all with the sound of your voice. You can find a recipe, preheat the oven, start the tea kettle, hear step by step instructions from your recipe and set timers for each dish you're preparing. The power is no longer in your hands, it's in your voice.