Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa, continues to expand its reach. The personal assistant first launched in late 2014, and has come a long way from its humble beginnings with the original Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Alexa now powers a whole host of devices, and a simple voice command can accomplish some pretty surprising tasks with the right hardware. In this article, we’re highlighting the best Alexa-compatible gadgets that you should take a look at in 2020, including an Alexa-enabled coffee maker.
1. Roav Viva
Just say, “Alexa, directions to home.”
Alexa can go for a ride with Anker’s Roav Viva. Just plug it into a cigarette lighter in your car to get started. When on the go, a quick voice command will provide access to Alexa’s features, including calling, messaging, drop-in, and announcements. The adapter also features two USB ports so you can charge other devices.
2. Echo Show 5
Just say, “Alexa, wake me up at 6 a.m. to my rock playlist from Spotify.”
Good things come in small packages with the Echo Show 5. The smallest device in the Echo Show lineup features a 5.5-inch touchscreen and is perfect for a nightstand or another small spot in your home.
Even with the small screen, you can still take advantage of all the skills and functions of its larger cousins like video calling, watching movies, and viewing photos. With an eye on privacy, you can cover the camera lens with a built-in shutter and also turn the microphone off.
Just say, “Alexa, reheat one cup of coffee.”
A true Alexa-based smart home is moving closer to reality with the AmazonBasics Microwave. You’ll need another Amazon Echo device to control the microwave. But once that is set up, there are more than 24 voice-controllable presets to select from. You can also even specify a particular time for the 700-watt microwave to start cooking.
Just say, “Alexa, tell Rachio to water the side yard for 2 minutes.”
Smart sprinkler controllers can save homeowners both water and money. Taking the place of a standard irrigation system controller, the smart version can provide better insight into when your lawn needs water and exactly how much.
One of the best choices on the market is the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. While you can set an automatic schedule, Alexa can also help out. With a voice command, you can start and stop watering, turn on a rain delay, and more.
Just say, “Alexa, turn on my coffee maker.”
Alexa can make the morning just a bit easier Hamilton Beach 49350 Coffee Maker. Using any compatible Alexa device or the companion smartphone app, you can turn the coffee maker on or off and even change the brew strength.
With the Amazon app, you can set a morning routine on the Alexa coffee maker to have the brew set and ready to pot by a certain time.
Just say, “Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes.”
You can even get into the Disney spirit with an Alexa gadget. The Echo Wall Clock – Disney Mickey Mouse Edition provides a quick way to see how much time is left on a timer you’ve set with another Alexa device. Along with the analog time, you can see one or multiple timers on the 60 LEDs around the outer edge of the device.
7. Sonos One
Just say, “Alexa, play Beastie Boys from Spotify.”
If sound quality is your top priority when looking for a smart speaker with Alexa built-in, take a look at the Sonos One. The company is well-known for delivering top-quality audio, and the Sonos One brings Alexa into the mix.
You can accomplish almost everything possible with an Echo device, including playing music, controlling smart home devices, and interacting with skills. You even get a choice between a black or white version to match your home decor.
Just say, “Alexa, turn the bedroom light to 50 percent brightness.”
Smart lighting is one of the simplest ways to add technology to a home. While the Sengled Element Classic A19 requires a wireless hub, the lights are substantially more affordable than the popular Philips Hue line of products.
The starter kit comes with two dimmable A19 LED soft white bulbs. Using Alexa, you can turn the bulbs on and off, along with changing the brightness level.
Just say, “Alexa, ask Anova to cook a steak.”
A kitchen device to test your culinary prowess, the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker provides a great way for home cooks to try out the popular cooking method. If you’re unaware, sous vide means food sealed in a bag cooked in a water bath at a consistent temperature. You can cook a surprising amount of items using the method, everything from steaks to soups and even desserts.
With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the cooker can be controlled with a smartphone app and also with Alexa. Using Alexa, you can heat water to a specific temperature and cook a wide variety of products, too.
Just say, “Alexa, show me the living room camera.”
The Ring Indoor Camera is a breeze to set up. Just plug it into an outlet and then connect your Wi-Fi. You can see the camera feed from any Echo Show device or Ring app. You can hear what’s happening and even talk to anyone with the camera’s built-in microphone.
11. Echo Buds
Just say, “Alexa, where is the nearest pizza restaurant?”
Take Alexa anywhere with the Echo Buds. The completely wireless earbuds feature Bose Active Noise Reduction and are perfect for the gym or a run with a sweat-proof design. There’s no need to press a button to interact with your smart assistant—just say “Alexa” to get started.
The earbuds work in tandem with the Alexa app so you can do things like take calls, listen to music, or get directions. The battery provides up to five hours of music playback on a single charge and up to 20 hours with the included charging case.
Just say, “Alexa, turn off the living room lights.”
Smart plugs are a great way to get started with smart home technology. The Kasa Smart WiFi Plug is an inexpensive entry point, too. You can control the outlet with Alexa or while on-the-go using the companion Kasa app. Thanks to a minimal design, the device won’t block another wall outlet, allowing you to place two plugs in one outlet.
13. Fire TV Cube
Just say, “Alexa, turn on the TV and tune to ESPN.”
Remotes are a thing of the past when using the Fire TV Cube in your living room. You can ask Alexa to turn on your TV and soundbar while even starting a specific program. The cube is capable of streaming 4K content at 60fps along with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It can also access popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon’s own Prime Video.
14. Echo Flex
Just say, “Alexa, unlock the front door.”
All you need is a free electrical outlet to bring Alexa into more places in your home with the Echo Flex. The small, plug-in Alexa gadget allows you to interact with the voice assistant to activate skills and features.
There is also a built-in USB port that can be used to juice up a smartphone or other device. You can also add an optional smart motion sensor or smart night light. A built-in 3.5mm AUX port allows you to plug in a larger speaker for better sound quality.
Just say, “Alexa, turn the thermostat to 70 degrees.”
The ecobee SmartThermostat is currently one of the best Alexa smart home devices on the market; the device is a double threat. You can control your home’s heating and air conditioning with a simple Alexa command on any compatible device. The thermostat also has Alexa controls built-in, meaning it can act as a standalone smart home device like the Amazon Echo Dot, too.
A Growing World of Alexa-Compatible Devices
Amazon’s Alexa continues to gain traction and partner with more interesting and unique devices. Even though the voice control assistant is far from perfect, the vast number of uses are definitely exciting and point to a continuing bright future for Amazon’s ecosystem.
Alexa-compatible devices can do much more than just play music or tell you the weather outside, though. Take a look at these great ways to use an Amazon Echo and Alexa to be more productive .