Alexa Can Now Estimate Smart Home Energy Usage
A smart home is practical, but energy efficient? Alexa can tell you now. Today Amazon introduced a new feature called the Energy Dashboard. It shows the energy consumption of Alexa-compatible smart home devices. Just open the Alexa app to see how much energy smart home devices connected to your Alexa system are using, including smart plugs, switches, water heaters, thermostats and televisions.
The energy dashboard shows not only daily, but also weekly and monthly trends. It’s not the same as having an energy monitor installed in your home, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction to bring even more functionality to Alexa than before.
In addition to the Energy Dashboard, Amazon has also introduced Guard Plus. This is a subscription service that adds a number of new features to the original Alexa Guard functionality, including hands-free access to an emergency number. It also offers Smart Alerts that monitor problems in your home.
Here’s how it works. You ask Alexa to connect you to trained emergency number agents who can request shipping from medicine, fire brigade or police based on the information you provide when you call. A more interesting feature is that Guard Plus can listen for certain noises in your house – the sound of a broken window, a fire alarm, etc. It can play the sound of a siren in response or trigger the sounds of dogs barking while picking up motion sensors outside activity on.
US-based customers can sign up for a one-month free trial of Guard Plus. After that, it costs $ 5 per month or $ 50 per year.
The last feature Alexa introduced is called Proactive Hunches. Do you usually lock your door at a certain time? Alexa knows – and the clever assistant can lock your door for you if you forget it. If you activate the function, Alexa can react to these “hints” without permission and perform tasks such as setting the thermostat, the water heater and more.
With the introduction of more features like this one, Amazon is getting more useful every day. In particular, the Proactive Hunches function brings the Smart Assistant one step closer to the smart home that most people dream of.