Amazon has come a long way from being everyone’s book vendor. With Internet of Things up for the grabs, Amazon is competing against various electronics giants like Apple and Samsung. In a major transition into the Internet of Things, Amazon recently launched the Amazon Echo – your personal assistant. Now Amazon has announced that the voice activated smart-speaker will be directly integrated into the Insteon’s connected lights, dimmers and relays. This means that you can now control a number of your Insteon home appliances by just speaking to your Amazon Echo.
This move to integrate with Insteon makes Amazon Echo more useful. You can just direct Alexa, the voice-activated, cloud-connected AI housed within the speaker, to turn an Insteon product on/off and Alexa will convey the command to the Insteon cloud which in turn will relay the necessary command to your Insteon device. You can also ask Alexa to dim your lights to a certain percentage. Just speak into the device clearly, a quick pulse of her light ring and your lights are off, on or anywhere in-between. You can also control devices made by other manufacturers that are connected to the Insteon Hub, specifically model 2245-222. The reason is – they are assembled into groups. You can also group a bunch of Insteon gadgets in the Amazon’s Alexa App and control them with a single command. You can also control Insteon devices from another room through Echo’s official remote.
Many of Insteon’s products offer full support for Amazon Echo voice control, while others, particularly keypads, only offer control over connected lights. The sad news though is Echo’s inability to support Insteon’s Scene feature which enables it to combine an unlimited about of devices. Amazon has said that adding that capability is a high priority. You also cannot operate Insteon’s thermostat, or Insteon connected door locks and garage openers. This is because Amazon currently extends support for Insteon’s line voltage relay devices – the devices that can only be switched on/off. You also cannot carry the Amazon Echo in your pocket, because it needs to be plugged in – because Echo does not run on batteries.
Amazon’s Echo already supports Philips Hue and Belkin’s WeMo. With this new support for Insteon, Amazon’s Echo is slowly becoming the staple of connected homes.