SmartThings Community

Amazon Echo Show (Gen 2) as Smart Home Controller


#1

I was initially super excited when Amazon announced the original Echo Show, thinking it would make an awesome kitchen counter top Controller for my smart home. I had visions of using actiontiles on it to control my house. That dream was quickly diffused when it became clear that the original Echo Show would not have browser capabilities.

But, amazon has allegedly corrected that mistake with the 2nd Gen Echo Show. The new Echo Show will have two browser options (Amazon Silk and Firefox)

Not to mention the Show has its own smart home hub platform to control zigbee connected devices.


(Bob Kerr) #2

Unless they will be running different versions of software on the new Show than they run on old Show, chances are that soon we will be able to run ActionTiles on the old Shows …


#3

I don’t understand why you would do this when you can get a $50 fire tablet and do the same functionality.


(Bill S.) #4

To be honest, I was thinking the same thing until I got my first Show. We now have 3 Shows and I can tell you that setting up 3 Fire tablets (with speakers, etc) would have been more of a hassle than just getting a device that is designed for this very thing with a small footprint. To be fair, the cost could be a bit lower (kickstand @ $9.99, 8" Fire @ $70.00 (last time I checked) and $30 for a halfway decent BT speaker = $120) versus the $129 for the Show. But, to be honest, I find the Show to be just fine for what it is.

Hopefully they add the browsers to the first gen Show, but if not, they will just end up replacing my other Echos.


#5

If you want Alexa capabilities, the show device has a full microphone array and excellent far field recognition. You don’t get that on the tablet. :sunglasses:


#6

True but you have lower cost options. It is all about use case. Dots are in areas I need better spacial and tablets are where they are close to user.


#7

Yep. Choice is good. :sunglasses:


#8

I like the idea of a product that is already made for that purpose rather than trying to rig together something. The Show will look better on my counter than a tablet on a stand with a speaker next to it. Also the voice pick up on the show is likely much better than on the tablet.


(Ron Talley) #9

I have 3 Shows along with a variety of Fire Tablets, Echos, Dots and other Alexa enabled devices. I can tell you that they all serve their purposes.

I have tried Show Mode on some of my Fire 10 and 8s but quickly found that although show mode is good, regular Tablet Mode is better. At least IMHO.

Biggest disappointment for the Show was the lack of a browser. If the old Shows receive the update to allow browsing, then I will be a happy camper! At $220, they are not worth it. But at $130, they are really cool.

As for as Smart Home Controller…they have a long way to go before they are even close to offering what SmartThings offer.


#10

At present, I recommend that the following three groups of people put the smartthings/ADT security panel on their candidate list when considering an inexpensive DIY home automation system:

  1. those who have compatible Samsung smart televisions

  2. those whose primary interest is low-cost DIY home security

  3. tinkerers Who want good support for zigbee (ZHA) devices and are OK with an MFOP of under three weeks

I don’t recommend it for people who are just looking for reliable simple plug and play DIY home automation for lighting, sensors, and locks.

I have been quite impressed with the features and value proposition of the ADT model. I think they knew who their competition was and the features selection on the security side was probably driven by the ADT partners. But in any case, it holds up well in that particular niche. :sunglasses:


(Mike Thomas) #11

Does anyone have recent experience with the Echo Show? I’m considering buying one, and would want to be able to run ActionTiles on it. I don’t care about running the SmartThings app on this device, which is I think where the browser incompatibility comes into play.

A recent review said it had a Zigbee range extender (repeater I assume). Since I am not likely (yet at least) to move my Zigbee sensors from SmartThings to the Echo Show (if it even supports them), does anyone know if there is a way to turn the Zigbee range extender off (to avoid interference)?

Thanks … Mike


(Ron Talley) #12

1st and 2nd Gen Show can display ActionTiles. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, open up Silk.”

You can add favorites to the Silk Browser’s home screen as well. With mines, ActionTiles is just parked so when I open up silk it displays ActionTiles. It goes back to the home screen after about 10 minutes. You can also say, “Alexa, go home.”

As far as Zigbee, it’s not an issue. I have 2 Echo Plus and 3 Echo Shows.

Even more, the new interface can access your Smart Devices with a simple pull down. Really cool!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13

Mine is arriving tomorrow.

I’ve used one at Amazon pop-up in San Francisco. Currently you have to ask for the browser (Firefox preferably) and single tap on the Panel bookmark. Not sure how long the timeout is.

Keep in mind that Amazon may change the software at any time.


(Mike Thomas) #14

Thanks @rontalley & @tgauchat


(Ron Talley) #15

It now remembers the last page you were on and opens that so no more extra tap.

10 minute timeout.


(Mike Thomas) #16

I haven’t set up anything with Alexa before (and only done a simple “Hey Google run XXX” where “XXX” is the name of a SmartThings routine), so this may be a dumb question:

Is it possible (through a browser or perhaps there’s an Alexa control panel) to set up a pre-defined but human-friendly command? For example: “Alexa bring up the dashboard” would cause it to bring up the browser on my ActionTiles dashboard?

Edit: probably not, based on @tgauchat’s earlier response)


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

We hope they enable this someday. Remember: Echo / Alexa is continuously evolving. Just think of all the features that didn’t exist in the very first edition Echo (I have one) and yet now are enabled by software alone!


(Mike Thomas) #18

Got it, thanks. Just like Android keeps evolving (sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way):grin: