The Amazon Echo only launched in the UK and Germany yesterday, but over on the other side of the pond smart home systems have openly embraced the Echo and its smart voice assistant Alexa. The latest adding support? Control4 – which has just announced that Alexa control is now available to its customers, as long as they sign up to a $99 annual subscription fee.
Amazon is in attendance at CEDIA 2016, with the company delivering the opening keynote at the custom install show. Despite that showing however, the company is still reliant on home automation systems like Control4 to ensure it does well in the custom install channel. It seems that those companies are taking note of Amazon’s commitment however.
With Alexa Control4 users will be able to active smart home scenes and control individual devices using nothing but their voice. Due to the personalisation of the Control4 ecosystem, these scenes could be anything from a ‘cooking’ scene that can raise the lights in the kitchen, lower the shades and turn on the TV to a preset food channel, or a simple scene that will turn all devices and lights off, lock the doors and lower the thermostat using the command ‘Alexa, turn off house’.
“Controlling smart home devices using voice is one of the most popular features of Alexa, which is why we’re especially pleased to be working with Control4,” says Charlie Kindel, director, Amazon Alexa Smart Home. “The vast breadth of devices Control4 supports, brings new capability and an enhanced user experience to the Alexa-enabled household.”
Control4 is the first home automation company designed for the custom install sector to support Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition technology. It will now go head-to-head with the DIY, such as Samsung’s SmartThings, which has long been supported by the Amazon Echo.
With support for nearly 10,000 popular lighting, audio, video, security and comfort products, Control4 will have the advantage of diversity over those DIY services however.
“On average, our customers have over 40 connected devices in their homes that are orchestrated by Control4 and now, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa offers another convenient way to control all of them,” says Martin Plaehn, Control4 CEO.
“This integration combines Control4’s automation power and extensive support for connected devices with the intuitive voice control from Amazon Alexa, reinforcing our shared vision to make life in a connected home ever-more personalised, comfortable, and hassle-free.”
Connecting an Alexa-enabled device within a Control4 home is designed to be as simple and straightforward as was possible, allowing homeowners to perform the task by themselves. A homeowner simply enables the Control4 Smart Home Skill inside the Alexa app, connects with Control4, discovers devices and scenes, and their home is ready for voice control.
The Control4 Smart Home Skill is available now for the entire Alexa family: Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and Amazon Fire TV.
This new Alexa skill is included with a Control4 4Sight subscription ($99 US yearly), and requires an Alexa-enabled device to use it. 4Sight enables homeowners to connect to Control4 cloud-based services, including remotely accessing and controlling their home on an iOS or Android mobile device from anywhere, receiving alerts from their smart home, and using the new Control4 Smart Home Skill for Amazon Alexa devices.