Due to the proliferation of personal intelligent assistants like Amazon’s Alexa (available through Amazon’s Echo line of products), living in a smart home is now a viable option for many. To help you make the most of Alexa’s smart home capabilities, we browsed through Amazon’s assistant app offerings — referred to as “Alexa Skills” — to highlight those that can take your house to the next level.
The following ten Alexa Skills had favorable Amazon ratings and could help you bring your dwelling into the smart home age. (Note: In addition to downloading, some Skills require additional hardware.)
NuBryte allows you to create the mood lighting of your dreams. Using voice commands, you can ask Alexa to turn lights on and off, or dim lights to specific degrees to suit any occasion. A sample command: “Alexa, brighten Downstairs to 60 percent.”
Crestron Home Automation For Smart Home
For even more ambiance control, you can check out Crestron Home Automation for Smart Home. Similarly to NuBryte, you can use your voice to control lights. These skills also let you use your voice for temperature control by having Alexa communicate with your thermostat.
FireBoard – Cloud Connected Smart Thermometer
The Fireboard makes home cooking a smart affair. A smart thermometer connects to the cloud, so you can use Alexa to check on the temperature status of food in the oven (Thanksgiving turkey, anyone?) or how long it’s been cooking without moving a muscle. We imagine this one could add some peace of mind to your hectic holiday food-prep schedules.
All the weather information you need is at your fingertips with Ambient Weather. Just set up devices at Ambientweather.net, and then you can check in with Alexa for external and internal weather reports, or look up weather conditions from previous days and months.
Sense lets Alexa users check in on their energy use. You can double check if you’ve left certain appliances running, or take a look at power used by different house appliances. Sample commands: “Alexa, ask Sense did I leave the oven on?” and “Alexa, ask Sense how much power I am using.”
No more searching underneath the couch pillows for the TV remote. With Remotsy, you can automate home electronics like your television so you can flip to your favorite show, adjust the volume, etc. with voice commands. Make sure to check out the additional hardware you’ll need to make your smart living room experience a reality.
Netro can be used to care for your home garden. For example, you can use voice commands to control sprinklers in different parts of your property. Sample commands: “Alexa, ask Netro to water zone one for 5 minutes” and “Alexa, ask Netro to turn off the sprinklers.”
Your daily tea-drinking ritual has officially gone automatic. With the Appkettle device and corresponding Alexa Skill, you can turn your kettle on and off with your voice. Now, hot tea can be waiting for you the moment you step out of bed.
Hayward turns a backyard pool into a luxurious oasis. You can use voice commands to control pool area lighting and adjust water temperature. Sample command: “Alexa, ask Hayward to set pool temperature to 85 degrees.”
This skill makes all your smart home tech come together. Use your voice to request “tech support” from Alexa, and a few short minutes later, a trained technician will call to help you solve your issue.