Tour an Alexa-enabled Smart Home by Bethesda Systems with Thom Kephart from Amazon. With the Alexa Skills Kit Smart Home Skill API (https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/smart-home), connect the Echo or Dot directly to smart home devices so customers can control their lights, switches, smart plugs or thermostats by voice.

About Amazon Alexa

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, made popular by the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot devices developed by Amazon Lab126. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and other real time information, such as news. Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system.

Most devices with Alexa allow users to activate the device using a wake-word (such as Echo); other devices (such as the Amazon app on iOS or Android) require the user to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening mode.

About Home Automation

Home automation is building automation for a home, called a smart home or smart house. It involves the control and automation of lighting, heating (such as smart thermostats), ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and security, as well as home appliances such as washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers. Wi-Fi is often used for remote monitoring and control. Home devices, when remotely monitored and controlled via the Internet, are an important constituent of the Internet of Things. Modern systems generally consist of switches and sensors connected to a central hub sometimes called a “gateway” from which the system is controlled with a user interface that is interacted either with a wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, tablet computer or a web interface, often but not always via Internet cloud services.

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