For those wanting to try Echo
1 1

84 posts in this topic

Amazon has the Echo Tap on sale today for $99.  Just keep in mind that this device needs a button pushed in order for your command to be heard.  For that reason I am going to wait for the Echo Dot to return as I would like to scatter them around the house for anywhere voice control.  I have the original Echo and as others have reported, It works flawlessly.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now the remote is also available at $30. It provides a separate voice input that can be located "remotely" from the Echo base. There isn't voice feedback available in the remote itself, and only one can be associated with any one Echo, Tap, etc., but it does provide another way to communicate with Echo to manage your SH devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now the remote is also available at $30. It provides a separate voice input that can be located "remotely" from the Echo base. There isn't voice feedback available in the remote itself, and only one can be associated with any one Echo, Tap, etc., but it does provide another way to communicate with Echo to manage your SH devices.

It's also limited by the BlueTooth connection "range".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fyi, Lowe's is also now selling a video intercom that apparently has Alexa/Echo functionality integrated --- saw it on display near Iris at my local Lowe's store -- will be looking into it.  More expensive, but video intercom + echo in single device I think makes a more compelling argument for putting in every room, especially if it connects to front door or has other interesting features....

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Nucleus-Anywhere-Intercom-built-Service/dp/B019JSE7PC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fyi, Lowe's is also now selling a video intercom that apparently has Alexa/Echo functionality integrated --- saw it on display near Iris at my local Lowe's store -- will be looking into it.  More expensive, but video intercom + echo in single device I think makes a more compelling argument for putting in every room, especially if it connects to front door or has other interesting features....

 

This is going to be integrated with Iris but I wasn't aware it had Echo integrated into it.

sparc likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazon has the Echo Tap on sale today for $99.  Just keep in mind that this device needs a button pushed in order for your command to be heard.  For that reason I am going to wait for the Echo Dot to return as I would like to scatter them around the house for anywhere voice control.  I have the original Echo and as others have reported, It works flawlessly.  

 

I bought the Tap when it was on sale for $79. It's a first world problem, but without always on listening it's fairly useless to me. 

I should return it if possible. Still keeping my 2 Echo's however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen rumors that there will be more Dots for Christmas.  I think they were overwhelmed at the response to it.  I'm looking at the Google Home device.  Google is having a press release on Oct 4 and will hopefully revel it there.  There's already support for numerous home automation devices so far.  I'm hoping that they will open it up for Iris or SmartThings.  I use google music and google's other stuff more than Amazon.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were the Dots only available online from Amazon or did Lowes have some in stores?

Or maybe they are in other stores like Best Buy?

 

They were only available via order through the original Echo device and have been completely sold out for quite a while.  When you try to order one via Echo now, it tells you that they are sold out and keep and eye out because they are always up to something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I did find a trick to order without using the Echo device, but since

there are none to be had it doesn't make much difference. I see a bunch

on eBay for crazy prices like $365 (OUCH !!).

Supply and demand at work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also limited by the BlueTooth connection "range".

Yes, depending on conditions, the remote is not necessarily going to have as large a footprint as your mesh/hub signal or wifi. But for me, the remote's bluetooth signal actually outreaches both. I've tried it everywhere in a large 2-story house and even out into the surrounding property.  I was maybe 25 yards from the house before I lost BT. My experience is consistent with what I read in many reviews on Amazon.

Some reviewers also said they had successfully connected more than one remote to the same Echo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat related to the Echo, Tap and Dot I read recently on Forbes (which was reposted from Reddit, see below) that someone who had an iPad connected to their HA system had their front door lock which is connected to their HA system opened by someone outside who yelled loud enough for the iPad to hear them. They told Siri to unlock the door and it did.

Sounds like these types of interfaces (Echo, Cortana, Siri, etc.) are going to need to build in some voice recognition or some other authentication method to prevent situations like this.

https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/532gmg/my_neighbor_just_let_himself_into_my_locked_house/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The version of that article I saw also mentioned that while Siri and Apple's Home Kit allowed this, the Amazon Echo does NOT support unlocking the door with their api, only Locking and checking the status. It is still a good point however, that all these new automations should be scrutinized for security. I assume that if/when Iris adds supports for door locks via Echo they will prevent such features, or require some form of authentication at least, otherwise I would not enable the Echo to access my door locks, or if that was not an option, I would remove the access to Iris completely (which would make the Iris system pretty useless for me at this point).

 

Iris's implementation of support for lights and switches via Echo has been great for how my family uses the system. I hope they will eventually support scenes and/or color control via Echo, but I can see how that might create security holes since who knows what might be included in a scene, so it makes total sense to me that they are providing support via Echo in stages, over time, hopefully because they are being very careful about how it is done. Honestly, rather than adding Echo support for door locks I'd rather see them support multi-media systems and add voice control to that. I can turn on and off our primary television using voice, but if I could also change channels and/or volume as well, I would automate the other two televisions and media centers we have as well.

sparc likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a two factor authentication such as presence of the paired keyfob or a phone paired with the system or an RFID tag or NFC could be used along with voice recognition to improve security.

I don't have any door locks in the system, and I'm not sure I will. I like having my video system separate from Iris and I think I might do the same with door locks if we ever go that route. It would be handy not to have to fiddle with keys, but at what cost to security. Same goes for garage door openers. My garage is not connected to the house so doesn't offer an alternate path into the house, but for many that is not the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a two factor authentication such as presence of the paired keyfob or a phone paired with the system or an RFID tag or NFC could be used along with voice recognition to improve security.

I don't have any door locks in the system, and I'm not sure I will. I like having my video system separate from Iris and I think I might do the same with door locks if we ever go that route. It would be handy not to have to fiddle with keys, but at what cost to security. Same goes for garage door openers. My garage is not connected to the house so doesn't offer an alternate path into the house, but for many that is not the case.

IMO locks only will slow down perhaps stop a drive by smash and grab.  For that type of miscreant a keypad or mechanical lock are the same.  To a determined burglar a mechanical lock or keypad is just an inconvenience.  So I don't believe a keypad is any less secure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iris's implementation of support for lights and switches via Echo has been great for how my family uses the system. I hope they will eventually support scenes and/or color control via Echo, . . .

Until IRIS integrates its own Scenes with Echo, I have found that I can make parallel scenes with the Alexa app that can mirror my lighting scenes. For instance, Echo can activate my Security Lights as a group.

sparc likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if the Echo dot uses any network traffic when it is idle? It must be always listening to reply to the "Alexa" command, right? Just curious what its traffic overhead is when it is not in use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if the Echo dot uses any network traffic when it is idle? It must be always listening to reply to the "Alexa" command, right? Just curious what its traffic overhead is when it is not in use.

Echo doesn't use any when idle.  IRIS, however is constantly uploading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is that Echo is limited to the 3 wake words of Alexa, Echo, and Amazon because it listens for those words offline and only connects once it "thinks" it heard the wake word.  I have noticed a few occasions where I've been watching a movie and the Echo thought it heard its name and the light ring activated even though the wake word was never said, however that has been rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is that Echo is limited to the 3 wake words of Alexa, Echo, and Amazon because it listens for those words offline and only connects once it "thinks" it heard the wake word.  I have noticed a few occasions where I've been watching a movie and the Echo thought it heard its name and the light ring activated even though the wake word was never said, however that has been rare.

I was working on vocabulary with my son the other night and in the definition was "a series".  Woke up Siri on my iPhone every time I repeated the definition to him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was working with my cable company tech this past weekend and was explaining why I could not use their "Echo" wifi extender program and my Echo kept waking up also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
1 1