Welcome to the World of Voice Control
A Guide to Amazon Echo and Crestron
Amazon Echo, the surprise tech hit of the 2016, is transforming the way homeowners and renters control nearly every aspect of the places they call home. Pair this new voice control technology with the endless custom automation possibilities of Crestron, and you get a highly personalized home, one that fits your unique needs.
The Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Since its launch in 2014, the speaker has rapidly evolved into a powerful digital assistant and smart home hub. The device, which is about the size of two soup cans stacked on top of one another, allows users to play music, control lights, shades and temperature, get news, sports scores, weather, and access other smart home features.
All you have to do is ask. The hub is controlled by simply speaking to it. Because the system integrates with Crestron, Audio Command Systems can offer the next generation in home automation to both new and existing customers.
Components of the System
Alexa is the voice-activated personal assistant technology that allows users to control the Amazon Echo, the speaker that resembles a Pringle can, and the Dot, its hockey puck-sized counterpart. Alexa is the brains behind the system, and since it is built in the cloud, it’s always getting smarter. With a few additional devices, you can control everything from your thermostat to your door locks. Or if you prefer, you can take a more leisurely approach, setting up a couple of lights, and adding more devices to your collection down the line. Additionally, Amazon Prime members can ask Alexa to order products much like they would order online from the website.
The Echo, think of this as the listening device, has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can easily detect your voice from across the room even while music is playing. When you’re ready to use the Echo, say the wake-up word “Alexa,” and the hands-free speaker responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Dot, Alexa will respond from the speaker closest to you. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences
The Dot is a sleek, compact version of the Echo that makes a great addition to any room in your home. It functions in the same way as the Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and the Dot will instantly respond. With the Dot, users can play music, control smart home devices, hear a joke, read the news, set an alarm, and more.
The Tap is the mobile member of the family, is battery powered, and requires that you tap a button to interact with it. The compact, lightweight Bluetooth speaker makes it easily to transport from the living room to the patio and has a battery life of nine hours of streaming time.
With the free Alexa App, you can easily setup and manage your Echo, Dot, or Tap. Plug-in the device or in the case of the Tap, load the batteries, next use the app to connect to the internet. The app is also used to connect services you already use like Spotify or Pandora. Then, just start talking. For existing Crestron customers, we offer a home tech consultation to determine the number of devices needed based on the size of your home, as well as setup services and training on how to use the voice activation service. You can go all-out and control everything from your thermostat to your music with Alexa, or you can take a more measured approach, set up a couple of lights, and add more devices to your collection down the line.
To learn more about pairing Amazon Alexa with a Crestron, please arrange a showroom visit at our Hamptons Design Center or give us a call at 1-800-382-2939.