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Amazon’s Alexa Brings Voice Control To Insteon Home Automation

Insteon’s home-automation hub has become the latest in a growing selection of home-automation products that can be controlled from Amazon’s voice-controlled Echo smart speaker.

Home-automation products from Wink, Smart Things, Belkin and Philips Hue can also controlled from the Wi-Fi-equipped Echo via Amazon’s Alexa Cloud-based voice service. Alexa also lets consumers access Cloud-based information and music services from Echo via natural-language voice commands. The Echo accesses home-automation devices that use the cloud-based IFTTT service.

Consumers must download the Amazon Alexa app to give Echo access to the Insteon Hub, which will control Insteon wall switches, plug-in modules and other Insteon products such as thermostats and timers via the company’s dual-band RF and powerline technologies.

Users can also control a group of products that includes Insteon devices and other-brand devices, the company said.

Echo and Alexa create “a more fluid, voice-control experience for our customers,” said Insteon CEO Joe Dada.

Amazon’s $179 Echo, which became available in July to the general public, is a 9.25-inch-tall cylindrical speaker with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and omnidirectional audio output. Users issue voice commands to hear the day’s calendar appointments, access music-streaming services, and get news, weather, sports and traffic updates as well as get answers to general questions.