Enjoy Hands-free Automation with Amazon’s Alexa
How to Add Voice Control to Your Lake Norman Smart Home
What if you could tell your home to turn off the lights and it would do it for you? Writers and TV producers have always imagined a future where we could control our homes with just our voice. For example, Captain Kirk in Star Trek asked the Enterprise computer for data during space voyages, and Marty McFly heard a “Welcome Home” from his smart home in Back to the Future 2 as he walked through the front door. Today, these imaginations have come to life, and now you can enjoy them in your own Lake Norman, NC home.
Amazon released Alexa this year, the voice control system that runs on the smart devices, the Echo, Dot, and Tap. Not only can it give you the weather report, turn the lights off, and order a pizza for you, it also works with your Control4 system to perform the same scenes you use every day—like Good Morning, Movie, and Goodnight. Keep reading this blog to learn more!
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Amazon’s smart home director, Charlie Kindel, says the inspiration for Alexa came from Star Trek. They wanted to create a computer in the cloud that is controlled entirely by your voice. You could ask it things, ask it to do things for you, and find things for you. Alexa started out as a DIY-type automation product that could play music and connect with other wireless smart home devices – such as smart thermostats, smart lighting and more. However, our partner Control4 has developed drivers to integrate the Alexa voice control system into your smart home. They are one of the first home automation companies to combine smart home scenes with Alexa.
In a press release on Control4.com, Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn said, "On average, our customers have over 40 connected devices in their homes that are orchestrated by Control4. And now, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa offers another convenient way to control all of them. This integration combines Control4’s automation power and extensive support for connected devices with the intuitive voice control from Amazon Alexa, reinforcing our shared vision to make life in a connected home ever-more personalized, comfortable, and hassle-free.”
How does it work?
First, you need to place the Amazon Echo, Tap or Dot in a room. If you already have a Control4 smart home, we will integrate Alexa into your house by connecting the Control4 Smart Home Skill inside the Alexa app with your existing system. Once it recognizes your devices and scenes, your home is ready for voice control. Say, “Alexa, dim the lights 50%” and it will change your lighting levels instantly. Or, ask Alexa to turn on a specific scene like, “Away,” as you leave for work in the morning and it will turn the lights off, adjust the thermostat, arm the security system, and lock the doors.
Amazon currently has three different models for Alexa. The difference between the three different devices is as follows:
The Echo: This is the flagship model and is suitable for large rooms. Plug it into the wall and simply say “Alexa” before any command to turn it on and activate the device.
The Tap: The Tap is almost identical to the Echo, except for a couple of small features. One, it sits on a charging dock so you can move it around your home, or easily transport it to another location. Two, in order to turn the device on, you must hit a button on top of the speaker.
The Dot: The Dot is a smaller version of the Echo and is ideal for small rooms, like bedrooms or a home office. Place a Dot in every room of your home to use voice control seamlessly.
A great benefit of working with a local smart home installation company like us is that not only do you offer you the latest technologies – like Alexa – but we can also customize your home any way you like. Control your home that suits your personal style, whether it’s turning on the TV with your voice, a universal remote control, a keypad on the wall, or an app on your smartphone.
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