New echo to be smart home hub
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Amazon has also announced that Alexa will be able to execute a group of commands, for example:

a. Turn OFF lights
b. Turn ON coffee pot
c. Turn ON fan

All with one command. I forget the name they had given it but sort of like scenes in Iris.

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9 minutes ago, sparc said:

Amazon has also announced that Alexa will be able to execute a group of commands, for example:

a. Turn OFF lights
b. Turn ON coffee pot
c. Turn ON fan

All with one command. I forget the name they had given it but sort of like scenes in Iris.

Am I missing something or haven't these commands been available for awhile?

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7 hours ago, scunny said:

Am I missing something or haven't these commands been available for awhile?

Well, yes they have, but now you can give one verbal command and Alexa will execute all three (or more) actions.

From the press release:

“Routines let you control multiple devices and actions with a single voice command -- for example, simply say,
‘Alexa, good morning,’ and the device will turn on the lights, start your coffee pot, and read the day’s forecast,”

Also coming is an interface to your old landline phone system, so you can make hands-free calls using Alexa
over POTS.

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11 hours ago, scunny said:

Am I missing something or haven't these commands been available for awhile?

I think the big difference is a routine will allow some devices to be turned OFF while others are turned ON with the same command.
Right now you can create groups, but it is either ALL ON or ALL OFF.
Also, given the example, it sounds like you will not have to use a "turn on" phrase to execute the routine.
Right now you can create a scene in iris called "good morning", but you would have to tell alexa to "turn on good morning", which is awkward.
It will be interesting to see if routines can be named anything, or if you have to stick with a list of approved routine names.
It will also be nice to be able to chain things like flash briefings or weather forecasts to routines also containing smart home commands.

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https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/amazon-alexa/
Interesting... This article mentions grouping devices by room, so that commands like "turn on the lights" will know which room you are in and only turn on the lights for that room.
If that is true, I'm not sure why this new feature is not getting more attention. I get tired of having to say "turn on THE LIVING ROOM lights", "turn on THE BEDROOM lights", etc... Sometimes I forget how rooms are named (Bedroom vs Master Bedroom) If a room has its own echo, it should be able to link the devices in that room so it can make some assumptions about "which device" you are wanting to control.

Sounds like lots of cool stuff coming to the echo soon!

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From what I've read, there isn't a "hub" included per-se. Amazon is integrating a Zigbee chip into the Echo+, and using that in tandem with the Alexa software to drive the IoT integration. 

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56 minutes ago, Earl said:

From what I've read, there isn't a "hub" included per-se. Amazon is integrating a Zigbee chip into the Echo+, and using that in tandem with the Alexa software to drive the IoT integration. 

Thanks, I guess that doesn't sound too interesting even if it had both Zigbee and Z-Wave since for a while at least, I'm sure it will be missing many of the scheduling and rule handling options I rely on.

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