Echo Plus integration - smart home automation

  • 5 October 2017
  • 10 replies
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Userlevel 7
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I had a thought regarding how the sonos integration may factor into the Echo Plus. The Plus is supposed to boast to have a smart home hub built in, so you don't have to have a separate phillips hub (for example) as well. There hasn't been much said but it's supposed to boast Alexa features built in to your smart home scenes. In other words you can script commands to turn on a light AND play a radio station, for example.

I would assume then, since Alexa now has a lot of control over sonos, that a sonos zone can be included in these smart home scripts. Is there any confirmation on that?

BTW, I know that you can do this with other third party hubs already, just seems like it might be more integrated with the Alexa smart home since Alexa is more aware of the 'state' of the sonos zones. Also, I've heard little about the Echo Plus capabilities. Not much on supported devices, scheduling capabilities, or any conditional logic.

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10 replies

Userlevel 5
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Like you, I haven't seen a ton about how that hub works. I would think it's safe to assume you can trigger anything that a voice command or in the Alexa app would be scriptable.

Whether you'd have to use a separate "product" like IFTTT, or the Plus builds something in will be interesting to see. Honestly, I'd be surprised if it has much, but I wouldn't be stunned.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I would think scheduling is a must, however, I can see where there is a customer base who are only interested in controlling by voice command, and don't want to deal with a separate hub. I personally schedule a lot, but don't have much use for conditional logic, and haven't bothered looking into IFTTT much.

I really shouldn't care much, because there is no way I'm dropping my Lutron hub. My light switches are all Lutron, using the Clear Connect protocol...which is essentially dead (Lutron switched to wifi). I'd be shocked if the Echo Plus supports Clear Connect.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
I would think scheduling is a must, however, I can see where there is a customer base who are only interested in controlling by voice command, and don't want to deal with a separate hub. I personally schedule a lot, but don't have much use for conditional logic, and haven't bothered looking into IFTTT much.

I really shouldn't care much, because there is no way I'm dropping my Lutron hub. My light switches are all Lutron, using the Clear Connect protocol...which is essentially dead (Lutron switched to wifi). I'd be shocked if the Echo Plus supports Clear Connect.


Lutron switched to wifi? Do you mean Leviton? I just added some of the Lutrons and Levitons. So just curious. My Levitons are the Smart Wifi but the Lutron Caseta Switches are still using the Smart Bridge. I liked the Leviton Smart Siwtches, but the Pico Remotes from Lutron add a lot for controlling switches and Sonos! So I bought more of Lutron devices.
I would think scheduling is a must, however, I can see where there is a customer base who are only interested in controlling by voice command, and don't want to deal with a separate hub. I personally schedule a lot, but don't have much use for conditional logic, and haven't bothered looking into IFTTT much.

I really shouldn't care much, because there is no way I'm dropping my Lutron hub. My light switches are all Lutron, using the Clear Connect protocol...which is essentially dead (Lutron switched to wifi). I'd be shocked if the Echo Plus supports Clear Connect.


What Lutron products use Wi-Fi? Caseta, RA2, and RA2 Select are all using the Clear Connect technology.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
I would think scheduling is a must, however, I can see where there is a customer base who are only interested in controlling by voice command, and don't want to deal with a separate hub. I personally schedule a lot, but don't have much use for conditional logic, and haven't bothered looking into IFTTT much.

That's a good point.

Personally, I've been using devices that don't require a hub, so the additional functionality didn't interest me that much right now. I know the proper response, judging from most of the activity here, would be for me to rant and rave that Amazon has dishonored themselves and my family, but I just let that go.

Amazon was caught offguard by how popular Echo/Alexa have been, and their new strategy appears to be "throw every possible option out there and see what sticks". There are what 8 different "Echo" devices out now? I suspect the hub is one more way to test the water. This market is still in its infancy, and it's smart (if expensive) for Amazon to try to offer something for everyone. It also opens the door to other products driving Echo sales in a circular fashion. If manufacturers can offload their hub cost, thereby reducing their cost to the consumer, then it makes their product more attractive. In turn, they may tend to go the route of utilizing the Echo's included hub, and that makes the Echo a more attractive buy in the future.
Echo Plus just includes a built-in ZigBee hub. That's it. So it may allow for removing something like the Phillips Hue hub from one's house, assuming the other hubs don't do anything other than straight ZigBee.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21

What Lutron products use Wi-Fi? Caseta, RA2, and RA2 Select are all using the Clear Connect technology.


Wow. I could have sworn I read something months ago stating that Lutron was switching to wifi. Can't find it now. Must have been dreaming.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8

What Lutron products use Wi-Fi? Caseta, RA2, and RA2 Select are all using the Clear Connect technology.


Wow. I could have sworn I read something months ago stating that Lutron was switching to wifi. Can't find it now. Must have been dreaming.
Maybe you were thinking Lutron but reading about Leviton's new Smart Wi-Fi Switches. I bought 3 of them for testing before I jumped into the Lutron Caseta/SmartBridge route. The Leviton's work great. But I loved the Lutron Pico Remotes and feel like Lutron designs are a little nicer. And being able to control the volume on my hidden Sonos Connect:Amps was a match made in heaven.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Maybe. I also was thinking that they merged there hub with Wemo...but that was Sylvania, not Lutron (I think). As well, I Lutron can be controlled through Smarthings now, and perhaps I was thinking that meant a switch to wifi protocol. It didn't, you still had to use the Lutron hub.

As far as the pico remotes, I have a few, but never found a great use for them. My main living area is the 5.1 setup, so I use my tv remote to control volume when I don't want to use the sonos app. Pico isn't a big help there. I suppose I could use it outdoors (hidden sonos amp) situation as you suggest, but I just never have. Now with Alexa integration, I'm thinking an Alexa remote may be the way to go.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
Yeah the Pico Remote only really is a big help for Sonos devices that are hidden away like Connect:Amps. I have 6 of them. There are two main ones that I often group with my PlayBar in the living room and Play3 in Kitchen. When I set up, I cant hear the volume of the Patio and Poolhouse Outside Connects. So then I go out and based on various consitions outside the volume often needs to change. Don't usually carry tablets or phone outside so was always kind of a pain for me. Then if it was loud I had to go back in to turn down also. So the Pico Remotes sitting outside allow me to control them easily.