The Amazon Echo speaker, powered by the digital assistant Alexa, has skyrocketed in popularity since it was first released to the market in November 2015, and for good reason. The Amazon Echo is an always-on and always-listening Internet-connected device that allows users to ask for help from Alexa or have it carry out tasks by issuing voice commands from anywhere within a room.
The Amazon Echo line has expanded with the unveiling of the Amazon Echo Dot and the Amazon Tap, two new devices that will be incorporating Alexa. The smart home dream is slowly taking on a more realistic form, and on Amazon's website, the company lists all the smart home devices that are currently compatible with Echo.
The Echo Smart Home page in Amazon allows customers to shop for Echo-compatible smart home devices either by brand or by function, with the list of partners for Amazon continuing to grow.
Through Amazon Echo, users can control the lights of compatible systems using just their own voice. Things that users can do include switching off their bedside lamp once they are ready to sleep and dimming the lights in the living room to watch a movie, without having to lift a finger.
Other electronics and appliances can also be controlled using the Amazon Echo if they are plugged in to smart outlets and switches. Through voice commands, users can switch the devices on or off.
Controlling the temperature of the home can also be done through voice commands with the Amazon Echo, with adjustments made by either setting an exact temperature or by stating how many degrees to add or subtract from the current level.
Under Starter Kits, Amazon lists hubs made up of several components that are compatible with the Amazon Echo. Included in this category are the Samsung SmartThings Hub and Outlet bundle, which includes one of each of the SmartThings Hubs and Outlet, the Philips Hue Starter Kit, White & Color Light, which includes three light bulbs controlled by a hub and the Insteon Starter Kit, which includes the Insteon Hub and two dimmer modules.
For Amazon Echo fans who are looking to start out their smart home, or smart home enthusiasts that have just added Amazon Echo their arsenal, Amazon's dedicated Web page will serve as a comprehensive guide to building out the ideal connected home.