CES 2016 best product wasn't even present!

How powerful marketing this is:

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, many of the new home gadgets on display relied upon Amazon Echo and its voice-command operating system Alexa as the central hub of it all. Most of the companies at CES talked about creating what they call an ecosystem in the “Internet of things,” and it’s clear that Amazon has put itself at center of it.

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What folks don’t understand perhaps, is that the echo has no foreign device state info, it can hardly be considered a hub at this point.
A super nice voice activated version of various mobile apps, for sure.
echo is only in the remote control stage of it’s development, it doesn’t currently contain many automation possibilities.

But imagine what Alexa will be in five years. Who cares about echo… That’s a gateway. The power is in Alexa.

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This is very true. I also do not see this system moving forward with automation capabilities.

I believe Amazon is letting others spend the resources and time advancing automation.

I believe Amazon is putting their resources into the control.

Echo is only a year old and look how far it has come. No one seems to be wanting to take it’s place. It seems to me they are wanting echo to control what they are developing.

“One ring to rule them all” is certainly coming to mind

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While I agree with your point, Amazon is working on implementing ‘routines’. I got to play with the upcoming feature for couple of nights and it’s going to be awesome, if they ever release it to public. The best part, is that you can customize your own phrases, without trigger words. ‘Alexa make my coffee’ instead of ‘Alexa trigger the coffee maker’.

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I agree with Mike. I really like Alexa, but it’s a UI. Not a device controller.

BTW, anyone notice that the new Samsung smart refrigerator announced at CES has Alexa built in? :wink:

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I saw “routines” appear in public 2-3 times, set it up once to try, and it never acted.

I assumed it would add load to the echo network, even just sending a sequence of commands. When everybody has routines then the load will go up by a magnitude. No wonder they are cautious.

The optional echo groups are effectively very simple routines.
What echo is lacking are triggers from devices, this will be the real test for them, the events that a home with people in it and a fair number of motion detectors are astonishing.
However having said that, I suspect it’s not going to be an issue for them:

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What I would love to see from echo is the ability to query the connected devices or just groups.
Such as having all of the door and window contact sensors in a group, and ask if there are any windows open. It would be nice for echo to tell us that the bathroom window is open.

Of course, echo would need the ability to see different devices, even if it was for monitoring and query.