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Alexa Insider

Why Alexa Should be in Every Home

Alexa has changed behavior of nearly 70% of users. This is how…

In this story I will describe some of the most popular uses of Alexa. If you still don’t have Alexa device, this story will help you decide if it’s worth buying or not. If you are a relatively new Alexa user, you will discover some interesting features! Let’s start.

Manage your smart home

Most smart devices come with some sort of an application. For example, SmartLife is a very popular application that works with smart devices powered by Tuya and their network. The SmartLife app has been constantly improving. However, when you start using Alexa with your smart home devices, you unleash the real power of the connected home.

There is another use case where using Alexa for managing smart home devices is practically unbeatable. If you use devices from different providers, who happen to be using different networks, then you need to use two or more different apps. Sometimes, even more. Additionally, you cannot use any automation without using third party systems like IFTTT. In itself IFTTT is a great service but sometimes it can be an overkill, especially now when Alexa supports routines.

So, with Alexa you can unify devices from different providers.

Example

Most of my smart home devices work on Tuya network and I can use the SmartLife app. However, I have some devices from Broadlink. I also have a vacuum cleaner robot, that uses entirely different network and has its own app.

Three apps? Come on.

However, all of these systems “love” Alexa and play nicely with her. In a sense, Alexa unifies these diverse devices. So, now I can use devices from different networks in Alexa routines or directly by voice commands. To be honest, I don’t even open those apps.

“Alexa, clean the room” — and the vacuum robot starts!
“Alexa, turn on TV” — and the TV starts
“Alexa, turn on the living room lights” — and there is light

As I have mentioned, all these devices work on three different networks and thus need three separate apps.

Alexa routines

Alexa Routines have significantly improved Alexa’s usefulness. Whereas in the past you needed to give her several commands, now you can accomplish a lot with just one command. I have written about Alexa Routines in a greater detail in this post.

Offload lots of info to Alexa

Do you often forget important dates like birthdays, anniversaries or meetings? Let Alexa manage your calendar and you will never miss an important event again. Now I know what you are thinking. We already have calendars in our phones and computers. Yes we do, but with Alexa calendar experience is absolutely awesome. Let me show one use case where Alexa beats smartphone calendar.

When we add events to a calendar, we most often set a reminder 15 or 30 minutes before the event. Often this does not work well because we don’t remember about the event until the reminder time comes.

With Alexa it’s much more natural. For example, if you start your flash briefing, Alexa can tell you about important events scheduled for the day. Or you can create Alexa routine. For example, I have this in my Good Morning routine. Alexa tells me about important events for the day and then follows the weather report.

Communications

Alexa is a fantastic communication device. There are several ways how it can be used for communication.

Intercom

If you have Alexa powered devices in several rooms, you can use it for announcements: kids, the dinner is ready!

Generally, you can announce anything via Alexa. This opens soooo many possibilities. For example, you can automate in such a way that as you are driving or approaching home, Alexa can announce. Honey, I’ll be home in 5 minutes!

The other day I got super angry and wanted to make an announcement but… umm F-words don’t work. Yes, Alexa is a family device.

Making free phone calls

You can use Alexa both with mobile numbers and with landlines. With an Echo Connect and a home phone service your Echo can also receive calls and even dial 911 in the USA.

And of course with the Echo Auto, you can have Alexa in your car as well.

Home security capabilities

Alexa can wear many hats. She can even fight crime. How? Elementary, my dear Watson! Turns out, our favorite voice assistant can also double as a home security system.

You can use the Alexa app to stream video from Echo Show’s camera to your Alexa app. While this is not a full-blown surveillance system, it still works quite well. Moreover, in Echo Show 10, you can even pan on the right and left.

Alexa can entertain your guests

Nobody likes boring parties. No more. Alexa not only can cheer up your guests (there are many Alexa games, but on this in a different story), she can provide useful details to your guests. You no longer need to help your guests connect to your WiFi or find where the toilet is. Alexa can do these for you. And imagine how cool it will be to connect a smart coffee maker!

Studio quality audio for music lovers

Alexa comes in many shapes and sizes. Amazon offers a whole array of Alexa-powered devices. For music aficionados, Echo Studio is a dream come true.

Five speakers, directional sound, 3D sound, Dolby ATMOS — Echo Studio has everything to get really loud! Your neighbours won’t necessarily be happy but trust me, it’s worth it. And if you happen to have Fire Stick, you can enjoy your favorite movies in a totally different audio dimension.

Echo Studio also has one cool feature — it has Zigbee controller integrated.

Conclusion

In this story I have outlined just the most important use cases of Alexa. Good thing about Alexa is that you can find many different creative ways. The technology is good and functional. The only limit is your imagination.

Thank You

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