Amazon Echo’s voice assistant Alexa is ever-present in the AI world. The Echo is the best-selling device on the market, and it boasts a variety of capabilities beyond what we could have imagined from consumer technology just a few years ago. The question is no longer whether Alexa is useful for consumers, but rather how to get the most out of her 25,000-plus skills and more than 4,000 connected devices.
Consumers often purchase digital assistants with smart homes in mind, but with so much functionality available, it can be hard to pin down exactly how Alexa can contribute. Here are the top smart home devices to pair with the assistant.
Smart lighting: Philips Hue
Smart light bulbs are an entry-level investment for anyone building a connected home, and Philips Hue is consistently ranked the best of the bunch. These devices save on energy costs, and users can turn them on and off or set them to fade at pre-scheduled times to accommodate routines. This means no more coming home to a dark house at the end of the day or stumbling around blindly in the early-morning hours.
Hue bulbs come in white and color versions, and you can ask Alexa to change power, color, and brightness with a simple voice command. For those looking to expand their smart home capabilities within the Hue ecosystem, Philips sells complementary accessories, like light strips and motion sensors.
Smart heating and cooling: Ecobee 4
While Ecobee isn’t the best-known name in the smart thermostat game, it gets high marks for learning user patterns to deliver optimal heating and cooling, which in turn enhances comfort…