Amazon Echo Gains Smart Home Control

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Amazon quietly gives the Echo, its odd voice assistant-slash-black cylindrical speaker, smart home capabilities via software update allowing the voice control of Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue devices.

Amazon EchoSuch functionality so far appears to be limited-- customers can only directly control WeMo switches and LED light bulbs, as well as Hue smart lighting solutions (specifically the Hue A19, Lux, BR30, Bloom, and LightStrip), with no control of automated schedules.

Setup is reportedly simple enough, since the Echo automatically discovers and pairs with devices connected to the home wifi network via "discover my appliances" command.

Arguably this represents Amazon's first move into full-blown home automation territory, with future updates providing compatibility with the full gamut connected devices. In fact intrepid hackers have already managed to do exactly that, even if adding such capability is not for the faint of heart. Either way, it is clear the odd cylindrical speaker has found a purpose beyond being the creepy Amazon gateway to customer wants and desires.

For the curious, the Echo remains an invitation-only exclusive to Amazon Prime members.

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