Date: 2017-12-07 05:10
Alexa-wise, the Echo doesn't differentiate itself from other Amazon products currently on the market. There are some Alexa features, most notably drop-in calling, that are exclusive to Amazon and don't work on third-party Alexa devices like the Sonos One. But all the Amazon Echo devices have the same Alexa features.
You won't find any surprises with the Echo Plus's design. It features the same tall, cylindrical shape as the first model, except it has a metallic gray finish instead of matte black. The volume control dial makes a return, and it has buttons for muting the microphone and issuing voice commands (or "actions") on top. There is one useful addition, though: It has a line-out auxiliary port, which lets you hook it up to a larger speaker or an audio receiver.
Configuring the Echo Plus takes a few minutes with the Alexa app. After joining the speaker's WiFi setup network, you just have to select your wireless network, plug in your security details, and you're good to go. If you're not familiar with the Alexa app, it's where you go to manage just about everything for Amazon's virtual assistant. You can find and configure skills, as well as see a history of your commands.
The second-gen August Smart Lock integrates with Alexa in a surprisingly unique way. It s actually the only smart lock that you can lock with Alexa (unlocking is available to all Alexa-compatible smart locks), thanks to a safety feature that requires you to tell Alexa a special PIN code. You can also ask Alexa if the door is locked or unlocked—offering some valuable peace of mind when you re away from home.
Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. The 7nd-generation Amazon Echo has improved wake-word performance to hear you ask a question from any direction—even in noisy environments or while playing music at loud volumes.
Now, as we&rsquo ve discussed, Amazon&rsquo s Echo line up is no stranger to smart home control. Since the first Echo was released, you&rsquo ve been able to ask Alexa to control everything from thermostat settings to smart locks and more with a voice command alone. But whereas previous Echoes achieved this by interfacing with a product&rsquo s own smart home hub or bridge, the Plus itself has ZigBee wireless protocol smarts built in, letting devices that work with the standard interact with the Echo Plus speaker directly, bypassing the need for a standalone hub unit.
The system isn t simple (or cheap), but it allows for a lot of customization. Due to Simple Control s A/V focus, Alexa can control TVs , and even change channels for you.
Skills add even more capabilities such as ordering take away from Just Eat, requesting a ride from Uber, checking train times from National Rail and more. Enabling skills lets your Amazon Echo Dot do even more simply discover and enable the skills you want to use in the Alexa App.
If you want to make your fridge smarter without shelling out thousands of dollars, then you should check out the Invoxia Triby. It s already out on the market and is now the first third-party device to offer Alexa integration.
While the security of your front door is not something everyone wants to mess with right off the bat, you better believe that locks are getting smarter too. Nearly all major lock companies—plus some startups—are getting into the game. Smart locks not only sense your presence (via your smartphone) and unlock automatically. They also allow you to issue temporary digital keys to anyone you d like to grant temporary entrance into your home.