Amazon is teaming up with SmartThings for its Echo voice-controlled smart speaker to power a range of home automation features.
Not too long ago, Amazon released a software development kit (SDK) for its Echo, enabling outside devices to be programmed to work directly with the smart speaker. Samsung's connected home system called SmartThings is now joining the party to offer even more neat functionality.
"We're excited to announce that SmartThings is now compatible with Amazon Echo," reads a new announcement on the SmartThings blog.
"For those not familiar, Amazon Echo is an Internet-connected speaker that responds to commands and questions that you ask it. (Think of it as your tall, dark and handsome personal assistant.)
The gadget first made its debut back in November 2014, initially available only to Amazon Prime members who got an invitation. The artificial intelligence (AI) speaker simply plugs into a power outlet, connects to Wi-Fi and listens for your voice so it's ready to answer your queries.
Amazon Echo has an always-on microphone that listens for the magic word - "Alexa" - to assist you in various tasks such as perform Google searches to answer your questions, add stuff to your shopping list on Amazon, or others such. The smart speaker from Amazon went on sale in the U.S. in June 2015, rocking a $179 price tag, and the company promised more good things to come.
Through this new collaboration, Amazon is adding more home automation options for Echo owners, allowing for more convenience. Echo will now be able to power home devices compatible with SmartThings as well, when you utter "Alexa" followed by a command.
Just say "Alexa" to let Amazon Echo know you want something and you'll be able to get the weather forecast, hear the news, play music, as well as control non-SmartThings items such as switches and lights, as long as they're plugged in to the SmartThings Power Outlet.
As the demo video shows, having both SmartThings products and the Amazon Echo Internet-connected smart speaker enables users to ask Alexa to turn on certain devices by name, dim the lights, or perform other such actions. Check out the video below to get a better idea of the SmartThings compatibility with Amazon Echo.