Smart Home Automation (and other Skills) to try out on Alexa’s Echo Speaker

8th February, 2022

In one of our previous blog posts, we compared the top brands for Voice Assistant-enabled Smart Speakers available in India. Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo series came on top, and Google’s Nest was the runner-up, with Apple’s Homepod taking third place. 

The Echo can help you do a mind-boggling number of tasks such as: 

  • Read the daily news, local weather, sports updates
  • Take notes or keep lists for you
  • Act as a timer, watch, and alarm 
  • Play audio & songs from your favorite platforms
  • Answer questions/do calculations based on Google searches
  • Track your Amazon parcel/orders (or place a new one)

With over 30,000+ “Skills” in the Alexa app’s library, Echo’s functionality is practically limitless. And one of the names you’ll spot in the library is the “Pert” Skill for smart home automation. 

When integrated with Pert, you can give the Echo speaker voice commands for all the tasks you’d normally do through our home automation mobile app. This means that you no longer have to carry your smartphone around to get the chores done. Just say it to your Echo, and it will relay your wish to Pert.

Even if you don’t have an Echo in the room, you can still use the standalone Alexa mobile app for voice commands, but you’ll obviously need to hold your mobile phone for that. 

Some use cases of the voice activation feature are: 

  • Alexa, turn on/off the bedroom group (lights, fans, switches, etc.) 
  • Alexa, set the AC to 23 C
  • Alexa, turn on the TV channel

Intrigued? Well, strap on your belts, because in this blog post, we’re going to share more scenarios in which you can use the voice command feature, not just to remotely control your electronic appliances hands-free, but for other cool purposes as well. 

Now before we dive into the examples, here’s a quick rundown of how to integrate Alexa with Pert’s ecosystem.  

How to integrate Alexa with Pert

Linking your Amazon Alexa app to Pert’s smart devices is easy as pie. 

  • Download the Amazon Alexa App
  • Follow the app’s instructions to first link your Echo device (if you have one) 
  • Go to More > Skills & Games. Search for the “Pert” skill & enable it (or click this link
  • After you enable the skill, you’ll be redirected to login with your Pert account details (which you use to sign in to the app). 
  • Log in & wait for the confirmation: Your Amazon Alexa & Pert accounts are linked. 
  • Then, click “Discover Devices” so that Alexa can detect the appliances you’ve configured in the Pert mobile app. 
  • That’s it! Now you can manually control the devices from the Alexa app. Or you can give it voice commands through the app itself/via your Echo speaker (eg: Alexa, turn on Switch 1 / Alexa, turn off the AC) 

How to integrate Google Assistant with Pert

Just as a side note, here are instructions for integrating your Google Assistant with Pert, in case you’ve chosen to go with Google’s Nest Smart Speaker. 

  • Download the Google Home mobile app & complete the registration process
  • Tap on the “+” symbol on the top left corner & select “Works With Google” 
  • Search for “Pert Smart Home” & complete the login process for Pert using your Pert app credentials
  • In case the page doesn’t automatically redirect you to the Home screen, manually navigate to Home 
  • Your devices are ready for you to manually control under the “Linked to You” area
  • You can also use voice commands like “Hey Google, turn off Switch no. 1”

 The basic voice automation functionalities of the two product series (Alexa Echo & Google Nest) are pretty similar, with the only big exception being the 30k+ “Skills” (i.e. cool new features) available in Alexa’s ever-growing library – something Google can’t yet match. 

Regardless of which brand you’ve chosen, here are the three most common use cases of voice-enabled smart home automation… 

Use 1: Hands-free Control from any room

Let’s start with the basics. Say you’re cooking in the kitchen, and you notice that your kid has turned up the volume of the living room TV a few decibels too loud. 

Normally, you’d have to clean up & march to the other room to correct them or shout the instruction loudly at the top of your lungs.

Not anymore! Just ask Echo to “Lower the TV volume,” and it’ll be done without you needing to talk with your fussy toddlers! 

Alternatively, imagine you’re sitting in the bedroom for movie night, and you’re unsure if you’ve left the fans & lights switched on in the hall. Just tell Echo “Switch off my living room fan,” and continue watching your film worry-free. 

You can voice automate your AC, geyser, microwave, fridge, laptop cooling stand, mobile phone charger, DVD Player, Music System, Home Theatre, chandeliers … the list goes on. 

But the fun doesn’t end at remotely controlling individual appliances. What if you could group them to function all at once? This brings us to the second scenario. 

Use 2: Routines to start/end your Day

In the Pert or Alexa apps, you can combine different appliances to form a group (eg. living room, bedroom, kitchen), or go one step further, and build a “routine” a.k.a. Smart Scene. Consider the “Good Night” routine, which has these settings combined:

  • Turn off all living room lights & fan  
  • Turn on the porch lights
  • Turn on my bedroom night lamp   
  • Close my curtains (motor-operated) 
  • Play soothing music to aid my sleep on my DVD player 

You can instantly activate this entire routine just by saying “Alexa, tell Pert to activate my ‘Good Night’ Mode.” It’ll get things done much faster than if you gave individual commands.  

Alternatively, say you’ve come back home. You can set up a routine called “Alexa, I’m back home from the office,” and your home will welcome you as if you’re walking into heaven: 

  • Turn on the AC at 22℃
  • Turn on all lights in the living room
  • Turn on the geyser (for your hot shower) 
  • Play your favourite Ed Sheeran songs on the DVD player

The kind of Smart Scenes you can set up is only limited by your imagination. For more examples, check out our in-depth post on the topic. 

Use 3: Instant Ambiances with Custom Modes

The concept of “Smart Scenes” is not just about the convenience of operating multiple appliances in one go.

It can also be applied to lifestyle/aesthetic functions. If you have unexpected guests over, it’s possible to set an appropriate ambiance instantly. Just create a scene for it: 

  • Turn on the warm spotlights for a TV showcase
  • Turn on RGB lights on the dinner table ceiling (with a custom color/pattern)
  • Maintain the AC temperature at 23℃
  • Turn on the Music system & play party songs 

With Pert, you’ll be able to tweak the settings for all your lights such as brightness, warmth, luminosity, and colours. And thanks to that, you’ll be able to set the perfect mood for any occasion such as group parties, deep work focus sessions, or intimate candlelight dinners. 

[BONUS] Other Fun Skills to explore with Alexa

So those were three cool things you can explore after enabling the “Pert” smart home automation skill on Alexa. 

But as a bonus, here are some other fun skills to try out on your Echo (handpicked in January 2022 by our own team): 

  • 7-minute workout (guided by Alexa, who will become your fitness trainer) 
  • Air Quality Index (check if it’s safe to step outside) 
  • Book an Ola cab to work, airport, or anywhere else
  • Period Tracker for women (keeps track of your menstrual cycle’s phases) 
  • News Flash briefing (get updates from Aaj Tak, ABVP, New York Times, India Today)
  • Do guided Meditation with the Headspace app
  • Learn to cook new recipes with the Indian Cookbook 
  • Find your phone (by pairing with the Trackr app)
  • Listen to any Radio station (eg. Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM)  
  • Play relaxing sounds to help you concentrate at work or fall asleep 

Conclusion: A Smart Home is fun with Voice Commands

In this blog post, we’ve covered some basic scenarios in which smart home automation can be made even more convenient by using voice commands on your Alexa mobile app or the Echo smart speaker.

Pert not only works with Alexa but also provides the same functionalities for Google Nest owners by integrating with the Google Assistant/Home platform. 

So whichever brand you’re using, Pert will be at your service at all times, almost like your own personal Genie. If you’d like to witness the scenarios we discussed with your own eyes (and ears), then call us for a free demo today! 

Visit our Live Experience Center in Jubilee Hills Hyderabad, or talk to our representatives in other cities, who will arrange a video/at-home demo for you. 

☎️ Sales Hotline: +91 91009 20031 (WhatsApp) 

📩 Email: hello@pert.me

️🌐 Website: www.pert.me

 

Want to view our entire catalog? Download it here. The Pert team is excited to be a part of your smart home automation project! 

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