Light via voice commands: Amazon Alexa and Philips Hue are a dream team

Amazon Echo and Philips Hue moved in at my home. I can now control the lighting in my apartment by voice command.

Amazon Echo

So far, I was one of those smart home skeptics. Too uncertain to some standardized to little avail were my prejudices.

The music was awful, not Alexa. During the day we had a lot of pleasure in trying out all possible and impossible voice commands for Amazon Speaker assistant. It was amazing how well that worked.

No, not every song request was interpreted correctly, but Alexa offered something that I previously knew of no language assistants and would somewhat awkwardly describe as “presence in the room”.

Unlike Siri or Google Voice Search, you do not make sure that a device is close to me, press a button and wait or that the device is ready for the start command.

A simple, natural voiced, “Alexa, games music of Queen” or “Alexa, what will the weather today?” Is enough to fulfill the desire to have answered the question.

Our new family member Alexa

My litmus test of whether a technical product is good even beyond its own geek enthusiasm is my family. Over the holidays I could Alexa take in the form of echo and Dot home. And: The echoes passed the Family test with flying colors. Both my wife and my five-year-old daughter and our visitors pounced almost on Alexa, bombarded them with questions and music requests.

Within just a few days, the “large” and “small Alexa” echo calls the things among us any to solid family members. In particular, the coupling to Spotify Spotify Connect, the use as a voice-controlled radio-frequency receiver and the fact that one can use the device as a Bluetooth speaker, are worth a lot of my family.

Even simple information such as the current weather conditions or the time I ref rage now simply by voice, we or alarm clock or timer – this is an immense comfort, I do not want to miss alone.

How was concerned with Alexa’s help, a light

My colleague Sebastian is now a big fan of Philips’ smart home lamp system Hue how in his enthusiastic by his standards Hue Test can read. So far I could not be pleased by the idea of “wireless light bulbs” much. Why should I pick up the phone to make light on or off, when I could just press the light switch? Well, so you can be wrong. The Hue system that is still a few tricks in Schlafittchen like me Sebastian explained: you can dim the lights in stages, change the lighting effect thanks to special LED lamps effort and an open API even as with third-party apps ifttt use and automate.

That I wanted to try Hue but depends on two other factors. We have two switches on opposite ends of the room, both switches must be on to make it bright. Sometimes you have so from one end to the other and run back again to find out at the light turn on the right position of both switches – aggregated I certainly wasted in my life several times with undignified running to and fro.

Thanks to Hue, the light switches remain on easy and I control the lighting in my app and a special Hue-light switch. The other reason is that Alexa and Hue directly supported. So I ordered haphazardly and platter curiosity a Hue starter, pears turned into the socket, set up software and configured … and then what happened was: magic.

Give me more!

I am a person who with the vision of Star Trek was socialized and have always found the offices on the Enterprise Voice Assistant date. Speak a command such as “Alexa, ceiling lamp in the living room at 50 percent” or “Alexa, turn out the lights in the kitchen at” – whereupon exactly happened – is for me a nerdy slipping equal, the reification of this Star Trek vision in miniature,

Clear the practical utility is limited, rational me is conscious. Of course, the associated investment costs for Alexa terminals and the Hue system voice-control did not necessarily justify for light. But Star Trek is becoming a reality, I live in the goddamn future! My body releases anyway serotonin, every time I turn on, turn off or dim the light in my voice, as fantastic as that. And no, I do not expect that every reader can understand it.

The toll is any case that both Alexa and Hue are versatile and easy to extend. For me, it is clear that I will in the medium term to equip the entire apartment with echoes and Hue. So Amazon Echo brings but pleases finally comprehensively and without Invite to Germany. Philips makes your bulbs cheaper for I can buy more of it. Do you have won in any case as a fan?