“Alexa, what’s the weather like out there?” We’ve all seen the commercial for the newest voice-enabled smart home hub, the Amazon Echo. The spot features multiple individuals requesting answers and tasks from a small, circular device that responds in a calming female voice. The Echo can do almost everything from streaming your favorite music on command to ordering a pepperoni pizza. These devices are among the most popular items on holiday wish lists this year, and HVAC manufacturers are catching on to the trend.
How Can Alexa Affect HVAC?
“If you have a smart home and you have smart devices, the ability to speak naturally and adjust those things is really a powerful way to interact with those devices. It was a no-brainer for us to integrate with the Echo and use it as another way for consumers to interact with their homes,” said general manager of Nexia, George Land. Yes, the Echo can order your pizza and tell you the weather, but these voice activated smart-home devices can do so much more for the safety and general comfort of your home.
A smart, or connected home, allows the ability for a homeowner or commercial building manager to move beyond the basic control of the HVAC system through the thermostat. “The Côr Home Automation System is one of our latest platforms that provide homeowners the ability to manage various aspects of their homes to control things like thermostats, lighting, cameras, and door locks. And, from the accompanying app, homeowners can control all of these functions directly from their smartphones or tablet devices with no monthly fees,” says Tai Train, home automation program manager of Carrier Corp.
Imagine being able to control the temperature of your building without raising a finger.
Looking Towards the Future
The Amazon Echo is a product of consumer’s demand for easier and more intuitive ways of managing comfort and security and is evidence of a forward-thinking future for homeowners and building managers alike. The Echo became available in the US on June 23, 2015, and it’s estimated that Amazon has already sold more than 5 million units.
A consistent integration of voice-activated systems may be a few years away, but the Echo’s popularity is proof that the world continues to evolve, and the HVAC world continues to adapt.
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