Combine Amazon Alexa (Dot) with Homekit?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by lala6971, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. lala6971 macrumors newbie

    lala6971

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    #1
    Is it possible to combine an Amazon Dot (since they are just $50) for Alexa control and still maintain Homekit Siri control on the same devices? A Dot would be convenient for when a phone is left in my bag or the kids leave their phone upstairs or whatever. And the price point is pretty sweet now on the Dot since I don't care about the full speaker.

    I have the following on my Homekit setup:

    * Phillips Hue 2.0 Hub and lights
    * Ecobee 3 with 3 remote sensors
    * As of this weekend - Lutron Caseta with Smartbridge
    * Apple TV gen 4

    I love using Siri and am committed to the Homekit standard but if a Dot would work in the same config....there would be a lot of happy dancing. :)
     
  2. iPhonetherefore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Taunton UK
    #2
    Don't think that will work. Alex as skills don't include specific HomeKit support so will have to go app by app.
    Minor thing that annoys me about echo is that you have to tell it the service you want in the voice command. E.g. Siri you can say turn the lights off but with echo you have to say ask hue to turn lights off.
     
  3. brianbunge macrumors 6502

    brianbunge

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    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #3
    Based on the various YouTube videos I've watched, it looks like you just say "Alexa, turn on living room lights" or "Alexa, turn living room lights to 40%". I've got 2 of the new Dots on pre-order for that very reason.
     
  4. ttate90303 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #4
    I hedged my bets with making sure much of my gear supports Homekit (hoping things improve in the future), by also ensuring they work with Amazon Echo (Alexa). So far I can opt to use Siri or Alexa to control my Hue lights, Harmony Hub (via IFTTT), Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat. I'm looking forward to Sonos being controlled by Alexa (since no chance of Homekit at this point). Considering an August (Homekit) Smart Lock to round out my Smart Home. I do have a pre-order for a DOT when it comes out.
     
  5. brianbunge macrumors 6502

    brianbunge

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    #5
    That's basically what I'm doing. I have Hue lights and just got a Harmony Elite with the Hub. I already had a Nest before I realized it would never be homekit compatible. I'm probably adding an August lock soon
     
  6. lala6971 thread starter macrumors newbie

    lala6971

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    #6

    This is exactly what I wanted to hear. I'm on that path as well - Ecobee3, Hue, and Lutron Caseta. Expansion plans include a few smart plug-ins, security senors (thinking Eve on that front), and maybe eventually a smart lock. (Need to update the actual door first!) I think I'll pre-order a Dot now too.
     
  7. ttate90303 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Still on the fence with August Smart Lock - needs to better integrate with existing hubs rather than requiring an additional outlay of ~$70 to be WiFi capable/remote access. And the geo-fencing needs the ability to be managed by the user. But I do like it's simple installation.
     
  8. brianbunge macrumors 6502

    brianbunge

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    Aug 11, 2011
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    Kennesaw, GA
    #8
    Can the Eve devices be used as triggers now? I know in the past they couldn't. That's why I was leaning toward SmartThings to assemble a home automation/security system.
     
  9. K. Bayquoi macrumors newbie

    K. Bayquoi

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    #9
    I started out with idea that I would use Homekit for all Automation only. Quickly realized the limited products available for HomeKit, so got an Echo dot. Now have a mis mash of the two systems. For instance, Harmony only works with Alexa(with skills) August lock only works with HomeKit( but I am buying that $70 add-on so it will work with Alexa) Bose SoundTouch only works with Alexa, All Lifx lights work with both, and the Leviton switches and dimers I bought only work on Homekit. Right now, it is a bit of a mess. Alexa seems to be the way I will go, as more is available there, for now. (I have also tried Homebridge for Harmony, but it only has limited on/off of the activities and no volume controls or change channel etc). After this experience, I plan to work only toward using Alexa. Simply way more items available that work with this connection.
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #10
    Have you looked at creating a routine within the Alexa app? I was able to name the devices I wanted, and then setup a routine such as "Alexa Movie Time" and my lights named Family Room Lights, are dimmed. You can connect your lights etc. This helps if you forget what you named the scene within the app that is being read by the Alexa app.

    Alexa good night - turns off all of the interior lights and turns on the master bedroom light
    Alexa night night - turns off the master bedroom light
    Alexa movie time - dims the light in the family room
    Alexa I'm home - turns on all the lights, this is helpful especially if the geofencing doesn't activate for some reason
    Alexa good morning - turns on a walk way light along with my master bedroom light and then tells me the weather, traffic conditions to work, along with any of my sports teams info.

    This might help you out especially if you have a lot of devices that are named. I am waiting for routines to work with my sonos speakers, but so far that is not the case.
     
  11. Mad4clay macrumors regular

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    Aug 10, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #11


    Wow! Sounds like a lot of work for set up.
     
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Jan 9, 2008
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    #12
    It actually goes really quick. I am hoping they make more items accessible as I would love to my morning routine in with my calendar etc.
     
  13. Mad4clay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #13
    I bought my daughter and son an echo for Christmas and they love theirs. I kinda of want one, but then i'd really want it to work with my phone for music as I'm very picky. So I want an Apple product but not the apple price tag. Not sure what to do. As an iPhone user what are your thoughts on the compatibility issue? Any advice?
     
  14. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #14
    I bought a few Echos for smart home control as my equipment supports both HomeKit and Echo (Hue lights, Caseda dimmers). I'm not thrilled with Amazon's music service so I will be investing in a couple Apple Homepods when they're available (actually, probably not until June since we're moving).

    But the Echos were pretty good for over the last year while waiting for Apple to catch up.
     
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #15
    I am also an iPhone user and with alexa you really don't use the two together. Unless you connect via bluetooth and stream to it. I have four Sonos speakers that I stream to and Alexa works with them. So I can either stream Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, or my own music library.

    I am really digging it a lot! I am sure other will chime in with how they use it for music. I don't use the internal dot speaker as the sound is really no better than what is in my phone, but from my Sonos, no complaints.
     
  16. lparsons21 macrumors 6502

    lparsons21

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    Jun 3, 2014
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    #16
    I've got 3 Echo devices and 2 Google Home devices.
    With the Caseta dimmers, I can control them with Alexa, Google and Siri. Just a matter of setting them up, which in all cases is simple.
    My Harmony Elite works fine with both the Echo and Home devices though I think it is pretty limited support.
    My Emerson Sensi thermostat works fine with both too.

    I had thought to get an Apple HomePod, but at $349 that just isn't going to happen. Way too expensive IMO especially considering for home automation you would need more than one to cover the house/apartment.
     
  17. gbrandenstein macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #17
    --- Post Merged, Jan 24, 2018 ---
    My set up is similar. I have Sonos throughout the house and an echo Dot in each of the major rooms. I have also set up my Back yard/Deck and Front Porch lights with Insteon switches and am controlling my Hampton Bay ceiling fans (came with wireless remotes) with a device called BOND that acts as an interface between Alexa and the Fans. All I have to do is walk into a room and say "Alexa, turn on Living Room Light" and the light goes on. Should have seen the look on my fathers face when he came for a visit and I'm using voice controls to turn the lights on and off {GRIN}.
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    I control various devices with Echo Dots and Google Home Minis. Each can control all my lights (yeah, redundant, but several rooms). One might occasionally tell Alexa to shut the frack up while it's really Google ringing the alarm (oops, sorry Alexa!) but otherwise they work fine with the same gear, at least lights. I don't listen to music via the Google's, so my Dot stay synched to the bluetooth speakers. I'd say Google is much better at answering questions, Alex has more apps and things through IFTTT.
     
  19. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #19
    Can you elaborate on the "BOND" item as I have a few fans that have wireless remotes also and would love to be able to control them with my voice. Right now we have the remote at the switch level or a physical remote.

    It is pretty cool when those who haven't seen or heard this before experience it for the first time!

    EDIT: Is the what you are using?

    https://bondhome.io/
     
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #20
    Apple will not make much compatible with an Amazon product.

    I have one echo, two dots and the spot and show in my house and like them all very much. The HomePod does not stand a chance at my house. I have full set of Sonos speakers including the woofer and do not need a $350+ Apple speaker.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    Nope, infact we're seeing that the HomePod is an apple only ecosystem. I'm not knocking apple for that, just pointing out that apple has zero interest in supporting competing services.
     
  22. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #22
    I guess I can not blame them but one of the more important features to me is controlling my ac system and there is no path for that with the only thermostat it is will use.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    No, I don't blame them.

    I can't even say I'm starting off on the home automation stuff. I'm on square zero, not square one, and as such, I have the opportunity to invest in any platform that I choose. At the moment, I have an echo and a dot, but I do like the HomePod. For me, it seems more likely that I'll be able to put an Echo or a Dot in every room, so where ever I am, I can control anything from lights to the heating. I cannot say the samething about the homepod. I'm sure many people can afford to drop $$ to put a homepod in everyroom, sadly that's not me.
     
  24. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #24
    Square one here. It only adjusts my heat and air conditioning. I have looked at the Hue system but not really into colored lights. Not really needing a lot more automation in my house. I guess the future will tell.
     
  25. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #25
    I have all Homekit devices in my home (Ecobee, Lutron, and more, I have 30+ lighting sections under control now) and use BOTH "Hey Siri" (with iOS devices, Apple Watch and soon HomePod) AND "Alexa" with 8 Amazon Echo Dots. Essentially all HomeKit devices sold are also compatible with Alexa so you simply configure your home's devices on BOTH platforms. The only downside is you have to remember what key word to say depending on which area of the house you are in if you do it this way... that's why even with an iPhone, Apple Watch and HomePod coming I have used the inexpensive ($29 on sale) Echo Dots to cover 100% of my home so I use "Alexa" to control home automation and "Hey Siri" for everything else BUT yes, I could say "Hey Siri turn my kitchen table light on" OR "Alexa turn my kitchen table light on" and the results are the same. I certainly use HomeKit and iOS to control devices in my home when I am NOT home.

    ideally I would love to someday have everything controlled via apple devices and voice control in every inch of my home, but right now that requires speaking to a personal device like an iPhone or Watch which not everyone in my family has, nor guests... or speaking to the upcoming HomePods but that would require a $3000+ investment in HomePods to cover everywhere. hopefully apple in time broadens the range of their devices to include siri focused (not big music) devices that are cheaper and at the same time they desperately need to improve siri's understanding, capabilities, and 3rd party interactions to stay in the same universe as Alexa. The only reason I tolerate the dual platform situation is it is so darn cheap to buy $29 Amazon Echo Dots!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2018 ---
    Another way to say it is...

    I am using Amazon Echo Dots for home automation and smart assistant intelligence at the same time as Apple HomePod for music until such time as Apple catches up in smart assistant capabilities and the range of their product line enables me to cover the whole house (or I just submit and slowly buy $350 speakers over time...)
     

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