“Alexa, help me out, it’s freezing in here.” That’s something you might say to Amazon Echo voice assistant Alexa to raise the house temperature sometime in the near future. In a recent blog post, Google-owned Nest writes that it is collaborating with Amazon and that the results of this will go live in a few weeks.
First to arrive is the ability to control your Nest-enabled thermostats with your voice. According to the post, that won’t be everything though. Alexa can be updated to learn new skills, so following the initial release of this feature, you’ll eventually be able to ask about the temperature and humidity, and adjust to your preference. You’ll also be able to tell Alexa that you’re leaving home, which supposedly would allow it to lower the temperature and reduce power consumption. A pretty neat feature.
If you’ve also already made use of IFTTT, which basically allows you to automate your Internet-of-Things (IoT) life via your phone, you’ll have access to over 50 recipes (short for automated IoT sequences). By adding that functionality, you may customize your commands into something like “good morning” to raise the temperature. Since last month, Alexa has also supported Vivint, a rival to Nest’s smart home business.
Amazon’s voice assistant has grown from the basic 13 skills like playing Amazon Music and setting timers. In addition, Alexa has been supplied with over 300 skills by third party developers.
Considering the growth and increasingly impressive feature list of Echo, it’s not hard to see where the company is heading. With already impressive voice recognition system and integration with several other IoT services, Amazon is most likely trying to take a leading position in connecting different services and be a leading player among voice assistants. Provided the company gets the right momentum, and thus incentivizes more third-party developers to support the platform, it will have a powerful position among smart devices.