We got a new toy this week. The Amazon Echo Dot.
The Official Review
I am still figuring it out but here is what i have so far. I have Alexa plugged into a small Bose system. i have Alexa setup to tell me the weather. "Alexa, What is the weather going to be today/or this week?"
I have Alexa setup to play any of my Pandora stations. "Hey Alexa, Pandora, Bassic Radio." "Alexa, Turn it up/or turn it down."
I am going to replace the old irrigation timer next spring. Once that is in and setup I will be able to control it with Alexa. So, if its raining, and I see the sprinklers are on, I can say, "Alexa, turn the sprinklers off." Or if its really hot out and I need a little extra water, I can say, "Hey Alexa, Run zone 2 for 6 minutes."
I am working on getting my calendar setup right now. "Alexa, Whats on my calendar for tomorrow?"
Alexa can get me the news.
You give Alexa "Skills" so it can do what you need it to do. We have a couple of lights (so far) setup. One in the front room and one in the bedroom that we can control. Philips Hue. So far, I am really liking these. "Alexa, turn on the light in the front room." "Alexa, set the light, in the front room to 10%." or "Alexa, set the light in the front room to full bright" or "Alexa, turn off all the lights." I use that one when I'm in bed and don't want to get up to turn off a light I left on. I am working on automating the rest of the lighting in the house and soon will be working to setup specific outlets in the house as well.
It took Bunny only a few minutes to figure it out. But it was fun teaching her. She was yelling at it. Bunny: "TURN OFF THE RADIO" Me: No, you have to say its name. Bunny: "ANDREA!, TURN OFF THE RAIDO!" Me: "No, Alexa. And you don't have to yell at it." Bunny: "Alexa, turn off the radio." And it worked.
Its only been a day so there is more to do but I will post more as I get it configured. I am thinking of changing Alexa's name. You can call it Echo by default as well, but I am thinking of something more fun and maybe give it a guys voice, if I can.