We might still be waiting for the Amazon Echo to reach these shores, but at least when it arrives it’ll have plenty of playmates.
The latest company to pair up with Alexa is Lutron, which has made its Caseta Wireless product line configurable through the smart speaker’s voice control.
Previously, Echo owners were able to control Lutron systems via Wink, although this only offered a limited amount of functionality. Now that it is fully embedded within the Amazon eco-system, homeowners will have much greater scope as to the voice commands that can be used to configure their Lutron lighting system.
This link-up is an significant step forwards for Amazon’s IoT ambitions; as a company known for its high-end lighting systems, Lutron is one of the key smart home companies that the US tech giant will need to get on side in order to claim it has a truly systems-agnostic smart hub. Current Lutron customers should note that this agreement only extends to the electronic company’s budget lighting range at present – but it does potentially open the door for the Echo family to eventually support its elite home control systems in the future.
In order for the Amazon Echo to work with Caseta, customers will need to make sure that all wall-mounted and plug-in dimmers, as well as the wireless Smart Bridge device, must be connected to the same wireless network as the smart speaker.
For Lutron users, this will give users of its Caseta products three methods of controlling their lighting: via smartphone app, voice control and the company’s Pico remote. According to Matt Swatsky, director of product management at Lutron, this means that ‘for times when talking to Alexa just isn’t possible […] all situations are covered’.