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Amazon’s Alexa is taking another step toward cementing herself as the brain of tomorrow’s smart home. Alphabet-owned Nest announced today that the AI assistant baked into the Amazon Echo and other devices will soon be able to control Nest thermostats.
Users have been able to jury-rig an Alexa-Nest connection since November, thanks to Alexa’s IFTTT integration. But the new, direct connection makes it easier to control the temperature without always resorting to specific phrases.
Because it’s built on Amazon’s learning platform, users can speak naturally to Alexa, saying phrases like “Alexa, tell the thermostat that I’m too hot,” or “Alexa, tell the thermostat I’m leaving.” These spoken commands will help the Nest learn and immediately change the temperature.
The integration also works in the other direction; users can ask Alexa about in-home temperature and humidity as it is reported by the Nest. Both new functions allow users to keep their phones in their pockets while interacting with the smart home. And with the new Echo Dot, users will be able to call up Alexa from any room in the house.
The new thermostat-control features are coming online later this month for Echo owners.
James Risley is a technology writer living in Seattle. He’s written for the Medill News Service and helped build small, news-focused web tools for covering transportation and politics. You can follow James on Twitter or Instagram and reach him at email@example.com.
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