The Amazon Echo – Steps Toward an Automated Home Environment

The Amazon Echo pic
The Amazon Echo
Image: amazon.com

Jacob Newberger is a respected Pennsylvania mechanical engineer with extensive experience in automatic control systems and robotics. Jacob Newberger has a longstanding interest in home automation systems, which hold the promise of transforming how people interact with their residential environments.

Released to the general public in mid-2015, the Amazon Echo pairs advanced home automation capacities with voice recognition, personal assistants, and the Internet of Things (IoT). With Siri focused on mobile devices, the Echo is a stationary cylindrical device that takes many of the same features to an office or home environment.

The Echo is accessed through apps, either on a Chrome computer browser or a smartphone. It capably plays music and audio books, and provides information services such as traffic reports. Designed around “Alexa,” Echo is virtually hands-free, as it answers queries and responds to voice commands.

Echo has an added benefit of seamless IoT integration and supports a variety of electric devices, lights, and switches around the house. Among the compatible systems are Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, and WeMo, which makes it possible to build a truly automated home environment.

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