All of the gadgets and devices above are Alexa compatible, but just double check your model. Some of the older speakers can struggle to pick up some of the more modern gadgets, and you may need an Alexa speaker which works as a Hub.
Also, think about what you want to do with your products – if they need to communicate with each other, and react to other events, you may need Bridges.
Some brands are the big guns when it comes to Alexa-compatible home appliances.
The Bosch Home Connect range is Wi-Fi enabled and can work with Alexa to varying degrees. Samsung refrigerators are also getting in on the action, as are some small appliance brands such as iRobot Roomba and Shark robot vacuum cleaners.
The level of control with home appliances can differ between appliance and brand. For instance, you can turn an oven on, set the temperature and timer, but with kettles or coffee machines you may need to do a few things before it will safely work.
A lot of modern televisions have compatibility too, so you can pause, rewind and change the channel with your voice.
Smart Home Extras
Other bits and pieces which you can buy include smart heating systems, smart lighting, and extend your music system.
You can use your voice to control these and get them to communicate with each other. The good news is that, unlike the appliances, there are dozens of variants out there which are super easy to use fully with Alexa.
Some Alexa-compatible devices will allow you to add your Amazon Dash buttons to the appliance so they can communicate.
It is a service through Amazon which allows you to order things if it detects that supplies are running low. So, some fridges will let you know when it is getting pretty empty and you can then order food and drink through the service.
Washing machines can let you know when detergent is running low. Coffee machines may tell you when the beans or milk is running out. Some can even be told to order automatically without you thinking.
What are Alexa smart speaker routines?
Routines can be set up through the Alexa app.
They allow devices to communicate with each other and do certain things based on the actions of each other. So, you could set up a morning routine – by saying “Alexa, good morning”, with the right devices, your smart lights could come on, as could your smart heating in winter. With an Alexa smart plug, your coffee machine could even start brewing.
Another option is ‘good night’ where lights and the television could turn off without you lifting a finger, and from the comfort of your bed.
You can also trigger routines based on your location. When you’re close to home, the heating and lights could come on, and you can even be greeted by Alexa when you come through the door before she alerts everyone else in the home.
Are there any concerns about having a ‘Smart Home’?
Some people are concerned about security, such as hackers stealing personal details. The good news is that Amazon Alexa is one of the safer systems.
As long as you buy authentic, big-brand appliances and tech to communicate with it, and you have a secure internet connection, you should be fine.
Are Alexa compatible devices easy to set up?
Some can be. Some can just as easily be a pain, too. Your certain verbal commands can be a challenge if Alexa doesn’t understand what you want your thermostat or washing machine to do. They also rely on WiFi to communicate with voice control.
However, the good news is that the Alexa app itself is really easy to use and can usually pick up new compatible devices which are in your home, and connect automatically.