Alexa Update Adds Depth to Her Expanding Smart Home Powers

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Amazon’s massively popular AI has been getting updates quickly. Alexa has become ubiquitous in smart homes everywhere

Alexa’s New Features

Built into Amazon’s expanding line of smart devices, we’ve known the AI to be capable of setting a reminder, helping with your shopping, searching the Web, or playing music at your command. More importantly, Alexa can control your smart home devices. In recent months, the retail giant added three new features that let you do much more than control individual IoT (Internet of Things) devices:

Room awareness

With this feature, you can assign specific devices to individual smart speakers. This makes Alexa contextually aware of which connected devices are nearby.

Routines

You can now create customized commands to control several smart devices simultaneously with this update.

Schedules

To save you the hassle of commanding Alexa every time you come home, this new feature will let you program automation.

Alexa Understands Your Home’s Layout Better

With the room awareness update, you can group devices together on the Alexa app. Doing so makes it so much easier to tell your Echo what smart gadgets in what room to turn on/off. Let’s say you put a bunch of smart lights to a group named “kitchen lights”. By saying “Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights”, the Amazon AI can tap those bulbs all at once. This allows you to assign an Alexa-enabled device to that same group. So when you’re near that Echo and you tell Alexa to turn off the lights, she’ll know you meant the ones in the kitchen group.

Alexa Controls Multiple Smart Devices at Once

Alexa can now tap several smart gadgets in one go. Sure, the routines feature may be a little similar to scenes on the HomeKit smart home platform, but it’s undoubtedly an improvement. In previous iterations, Alexa could only initiate routines with aid from other apps (e.g. Philips Hue app). You can now set it up right in the Alexa app. Imagine being able to turn on your whatever appliance is connected to your trusted smart plug along with your Philips Hue lights all at once. You can now create your own commands, so you need not be limited to a predefined setup.

Alexa Follows a Scheduled Routine

On the Alexa app, you can program the Amazon voice assistant to observe a routine. That way, you don’t have to tell Alexa what to do each time. While you can always say “Alexa, good night” to turn on every IoT devices you need to use before going to bed, automation offers a shortcut. With this new update, Alexa can automatically activate your good night command at a preferred time even when you’re not around to say the words.