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Amazon Echo - wow

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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I got my wife an Amazon Echo, 5 WeMo light switches, and 2 WeMo plugs.

The switches and plugs were super easy to connect to the Echo.

Now I can say "Hey Alexa, turn on the Lanai Fans"...and poof, they are on.

Way too cool. So easy to setup a "smart home" these days.

:thup:


The speech recognition on this is spot on...with no training!


 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I can see where something like this might be helpful to a handicapped person but otherwise it's a pretty expensive light switch system. Does it make breakfast?
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Haha - no - doesn't make breakfast...yet...

I agree with this being very helpful for a handicapped person...or just another level of laziness! It's pretty cool to be able to turn on my outside fans and lights without having to go back inside to hit the switches. Also, if I leave the house and forgot to turn a light on or off, I can pull up the switch app and do it from anywhere in the world. That's pretty cool.

Also, I have a whole house intercom system (the house is pretty big...3500 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, all one floor). I was able to replace the old, not-working intercom system that was installed in the house when it was built (1994) with a modern one. (This was cool, as I was DREADING doing all the wall patching...the modern one was a drop-in replacement for the old model.)

The whole house intercom system has a blue tooth connection. So, I just tell Alexa to play some music and then connect to the house...and POOF - The Amazon Echo sees the house intercom system as a Bluetooth speaker and music starts playing all through the house.

Again, the voice recognition on the Amazon Echo is pretty amazing...no errors yet and I didn't have to do any voice training.

The next step will be to upgrade the thermostats in the house (there are 2, one for each A/C zone) and connect them to the Amazon Echo.

You can also get door locks that can interface too. Unfortunately, my pool equipment manufacturer (Zodiac) has not published an IFTTT interface, so I can't connect my pool equipment...yet...
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
A voice controlled billiards table, huh? Pool . . . oh yes, you live in Florida.
 

(G{in}[AK)TION]

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
I was wondering what that alexa thing was all about while i was setting up a customers hopper one day. i was like "oh look amazon alexa". didnt know it was for the amazon echo.

Do you need to have amazon prime to get it working by the way?

-also, and a favor to ask of you all with amazon alexa-

from the looks of it, dish networks hopper receiver family support amazon alexa now. If anyone has a hopper (or wally) with alexa on it, experiment with it. let me know what it does so i can tell my coworkers about it.

thanks in advance
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
I got my wife an Amazon Echo, 5 WeMo light switches, and 2 WeMo plugs.

The switches and plugs were super easy to connect to the Echo.

Now I can say "Hey Alexa, turn on the Lanai Fans"...and poof, they are on.

Way too cool. So easy to setup a "smart home" these days.

:thup:


The speech recognition on this is spot on...with no training!
We purchased Google home for a family Christmas gift JrClocker. I'm having the same experience with it as you are with Alexa. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Hey google turn on the pool lights....and they're on. Hey google turn on the stereo and play whatever, poof it's on. My son even bought himself Phillips hue lighting for his desk and he controls it with the Google home.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Somebody ask it if the NSA is listening. I'm curious as to the answer. "No, we're not. Just go about your business. And speak louder from the other room,please." LOL
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Somebody ask it if the NSA is listening. I'm curious as to the answer. "No, we're not. Just go about your business. And speak louder from the other room,please." LOL
I've heard people say that Google Home is always listening, I do not know if this is accurate or not, nor do I really care. I'm not one to put any weight into conspiracy theories and such. All I know is it's a pretty cool device for what it does. :shrug:
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
We purchased Google home for a family Christmas gift JrClocker. I'm having the same experience with it as you are with Alexa. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Hey google turn on the pool lights....and they're on. Hey google turn on the stereo and play whatever, poof it's on. My son even bought himself Phillips hue lighting for his desk and he controls it with the Google home.

My pool lights go through my pool automation...which I can't connect to Alexa yet.

I've been researching the various z-wave topologies and I'm not impressed with the 2.4 GHz ones...yet more "noise" for my wifi network. The 900 MHz ones have promise (a lightly used ISM band), but I don't know if I want to go through the hassle of repeaters and such. However, if I want to add door locks it's the only choice right now...

That's why I like the WeMo switch and plug devices as they connect into your existing wifi network. It was literally plug and play!

The only downside with any of the light switches is that they don't like multi-switch combinations...hopefully that will be solved soon.

I've been looking at the led lights to automate your home, but at $40 a pop for RGB, it's a bit pricey right now to replace the 20 BR30 lights I have in the house.


 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I've heard people say that Google Home is always listening, I do not know if this is accurate or not, nor do I really care. I'm not one to put any weight into conspiracy theories and such. All I know is it's a pretty cool device for what it does. :shrug:

Oh, I was just going for the entertainment angle. I wondered if they had programmed a stock (funny) response to the question, since somebody has to ask at some point. :D
 

Suppressor1137

Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Neat. If I could justify the cost for laziness, I might do this; Then again, I could use the exercise.

I'm single though, so the smart home would just be for my use.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Neat. If I could justify the cost for laziness, I might do this; Then again, I could use the exercise.

I'm single though, so the smart home would just be for my use.


I hear you...I never would have bought this for myself. My wife wanted it for her birthday...some of her friends (and her parents) have one and they find the Amazon Echo "fun". When I started researching it I was like "can this REALLY do that stuff, or is it just hype?"

So, I bought a handful of the WeMo switches and plugs (about $300) just to give it a shot. Worst case, I could just send the switches and plugs back.

NOW - I am spending large portions of my waking hours trying to figure out what else I could automate - hehe. Heck, I just might get some "smart appliances" so that Alexa can tell me when the washer is done! :thup:

Laziness...can't counter that argument. But it is nice being able to set groups to come on and off on schedules (the playroom is now on a separate set of these as my stepson always leaves things turned on). The ultimate laziness will be when I add the Logitech Harmony Companion and say "Hey Alexa, turn on my TV"...because reaching for the remote will be SOOOO much work - hehe.


If folks would share their ideas on what they would like to automate and/or have automated with Amazon Echo / Google Home...I think it would be fun! Heck, I might bust out my engineering skillz and design a IFTTT interface for my pool automation equipment - hehe.

My project for this coming Memorial Day weekend is to replace the fluorescent light fixtures (T12) with LED fixtures. These won't be directly controlled by Alexa, but the switches that turn them on and off are!
 

Suppressor1137

Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
How about...Christmas lights to a specific outlet. Get it done with a test strip of leds, and when christmas comes, just tell it to turn on/off.

And Bluetooth voice activated garage. "Open the pod bay doors, Alexa." Comes to mind.

Perhaps a phone message readback; "Alexa, Could you play back my unheard messages?" Maybe for your Cellphone too, if possible.

OOH! a Echo locator code. "Alexa, I can't find my cellphone, could you call it for me?" And have the house dial your cell!!

Uhhh... "Turn on the AC, Its boiling in here!"

hmm..."Make me a Sammich Please?"

I'm out of ideas.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
i own both the google home is better in almost every aspect besides music selection.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
The Christmas lights is a good idea...when Christmas comes around, I'll plug them into one of the WeMo plug adapters (they just plug into an existing outlet...don't have to change it out like you do the switches).

I know you can do the garage door thing now...but I think they are all Z-wave or Zigby, not WiFi. I'm trying to avoid having to add another wireless network...and repeaters...and... If you tell Alexa to "Open the pod bay doors" she responds with the appropriate reply now!

I think you can do the message feedback and find my phone thing now with the Alexa App...I'll have to play with that....

You can tie a thermostat into Alexa now. The "nice" ones currently are Z-wave/Zigby and not WiFi. The WiFi ones are "meh"...but hopefully they'll get better.

She won't make food...yet!
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
I do know I can control some devices such as a coffee pot with Google home but one would still have to fill it with water and/or coffee which kind of defeats the purpose.

BTW JrClocker hope you don't mind me talking about the Google home, I'm not trying to hijack the thread. Just figured it's a similar device.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I do know I can control some devices such as a coffee pot with Google home but one would still have to fill it with water and/or coffee which kind of defeats the purpose.

BTW JrClocker hope you don't mind me talking about the Google home, I'm not trying to hijack the thread. Just figured it's a similar device.

No problem - a buff of my has Goggle home...the technology is similar and the voice recognition and ease of use is fantastic.


 

Suppressor1137

Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
I do know I can control some devices such as a coffee pot with Google home but one would still have to fill it with water and/or coffee which kind of defeats the purpose.

BTW JrClocker hope you don't mind me talking about the Google home, I'm not trying to hijack the thread. Just figured it's a similar device.

Y'know, fridges can have dedicated water lines, So that can be applied to the coffee maker...

Still have to load the coffee grounds unless its keurig, Which is then a cup.