The top skills in smart home category show voice interfaces can improve day-to-day life. There is a nice mix of vacuums, alarms, sprinklers, and security skills. It will be interesting to see which other home appliances receive successful voice interactions. I could see Samsung, GE, Maytag, or any of those big players come out with a great smart home skill that provides a unified voice interface for all of their appliances.
One of the things that people want is the ability to integrate their smart home skills with their existing automation services (IFTTT, Zapier). I am curious to see whether this functionality will come from the companies themselves, or if a 3rd party will seize this opportunity to develop a killer skill.
iRobot Home by iRobot – 4.1 out of 5, 8.868 ratings, 797 reviews
Clean by room with your voice. Roomba® i and s Series and Braava jet® m series robots allow you to pick a room, or every room.
Random review: His name is JARVIS and I call him JARVIS so it would be nice to be able to say “computer, tell JARVIS to start cleaning” instead of saying “computer, tell roomba to start cleaning.” Alexa Devices call him by his name but don’t recognize when I call JARVIS by his name. That’s my only complaint. It would be nice because even my son (3) calls him JARVIS and it would be niceif my son could tell “computer” to have JARVIS to start cleaning. Please fix it so Alexa can recognize all roombas given name and accept commands when using the given name. (4 out of 5)
Neato by Neato Robotics – 4.1 out of 5, 653 ratings, 214 reviews
Amazon Alexa and Neato Botvac Connected work together to keep your home clean, without lifting a finger.
Random review: I purposely bought the Neato D7 connected for the no-go lines you can program in to the cleaning routine. However, it appears that initiating a cleaning via Alexa and the Neato skill results in the D7 ignoring the previously established house map that includes no-go lines. (1 out of 5)
Neato D7 connected for the no-go lines you can program in to the cleaning routine. However, it appears that initiating a cleaning via Alexa and the Neato skill results in the D7 ignoring the previously established house map that includes no-go lines. (1 out of 5)
Xbox by Microsoft – 4.2 out of 5, 7.068 ratings, 496 reviews
With the Xbox Skill for Alexa, you can interact with your Xbox One using just your voice. Turn it on and off, launch games and apps, play and pause videos, and more, all from any Alexa-enabled device or Alexa apps on iOS and Android.
Random review: in your xbox home…. go to settings>>kinect & devices>>digital assistants>> turn on. This must be enabled in your Xbox for Alexa to connect. (4 out of 5)
Rachio by Rachio – 4.3 out of 5, 745 ratings, 134 reviews
The Rachio skill allows you to control your Rachio Smart Wifi Enabled Irrigation Controller from your Echo. You can use the Rachio skill to start watering one of your zones, stop watering, start and stop a rain delay, and enable or disable standby mode.
Random review: I had the same troubles as some on here. I would say “Alexa, tell rachio to turn on zone 1 for 5 minutes”. Instead of turning it on, alexa would repeatedly ask me which zone I wanted to turn on and how long. HERES THE FIX, DONT SAY “TELL”,SAY “ASK” and START instead of turn on. EXAMPLE: Say “Alexa, ASK rachio to START zone 1 for __ minutes.”In my case, I only have 1 zone which I labeled front yard so I say “Alexa, ASK rachio to START front yard for 10 minutes”. If I want to turn it off early, I say “Alexa ASK Rachio to STOP watering”. The only reason I’m giving it 3 stars is because I find it very inconvenient to tell alexa to “ask” rachio. They need to turn this into a smart skill so I can give it a nickname and just say “Alexa turn on/off the sprinklers”. They have the ability to change this so I’m sure with enough complaints and some deeper thinking, they will come to realize they need to update their current method of alexa automation. IF THIS REVIEW HELPED TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM, PLEASE CLICK HELPFUL UNDER THE REVIEW SO OTHERS CAN QUICKLY FIND IT AND GIVE IT A READ. THIS REVIEW MIGHT HELP SOME PEOPLES FRUSTRATIONS EASE OFF A BIT. (3 out of 5)
HP Printer by HP Inc. – 4.2 out of 5, 626 ratings, 73 reviews
Link your HP web-connected printer and ask it to perform tasks with your voice.
Random review: This skill has a lot of potential!Some initial thoughts for the suggestion box (since HP’s email does not work yet):
• Have the ability to link to sports sites like MLB, NFL, CBS Sports, ESPN, etc. to print fantasy info, team rosters, standings, stats, etc.
• Link to the calendar attached to Alexa to print off your personal calendar (right now it only prints a template?)
• Link with another skill or Google maps to print off a map and directions for a given address.
• Link with recipe skills to print recipes.
• Print out weather maps and forecasts (4 out of 5)
EufyHome – RoboVac by Anker – 4.1 out of 5, 685 ratings, 48 reviews
The EufyHome Skill allows you to control your RoboVac by using Amazon Alexa.
Random review: Doesn’t appear you can incorporate Eufy Robovac into an Alexa routine.This would be a great feature.Having more than one vac and setting up a routine “Alexa, release the hounds” and all the vacs set off cleaning. (4 out of 5)
Orbit B-Hyve by Orbit Irrigation – 4.2 out of 5, 531 ratings, 103 reviews
With the B-Hyve skill, you can use your voice to control your Orbit B-Hyve sprinkler timer.You can change your timer mode, start or stop watering, start or stop a rain delay, and more!
Random review: Not sure about all the people having linking issues, got mine setup in under a couple minutes.
It’s sure fun being able to start watering the garden from my living room!
My one complaint is the commands are a little clunky “Alexa, tell b-hyve to water zone 2 for 5 minutes” just doesn’t roll off the tongue. I Wish I could tell it more intuitive commands like “Alexa, water the front yard for 5 mintues.” (4 out of 5)
Ambient Weather by Ambient Weather – 4.5 out of 5, 504 ratings, 57 reviews
The Ambient Weather skill provides Ambient Weather personal weather station owners with the ability to get real-time, and past weather information generated by the devices they have set up at AmbientWeather.net.
Random review: Very simple setup, works well.I wish you could ask for just the temperature and skip the full long-winded report. (4 out of 5)
Alarm.com by Alarm.com – 4 out of 5, 1.802 ratings, 287 reviews
Don’t want to get up from the middle of a movie but you’re not sure if you locked the front door? Ask Alarm.com to lock the front door. A little hot or too cold, ask Alarm.com to set the living room to heat or AC mode. Want to get your property ready for bedtime? Ask Alarm.com to run your sleep scene. Whatever the scenario, the Alarm.com skill adds convenience to monitoring and controlling your system.
Random review: Extremely difficult to get the phrasing right to do simple tasks. It needs to be a Smart Home skill so we can simply say “Alexa, do this…” and not have to bother with “ask alarm.com to do this…” (1 out of 5)
Vivint.SmartHome – Complete by Vivint Inc. – 4.3 out of 5, 4.194 ratings, 232 reviews
offers the most comprehensive voice controlled smart home on the planet. Have
your hands full making dinner and want to turn on the AC?No problem.Just say
Random review: Alexa and Vivint work well together. To make the union significantly better, Vivint needs to join Alexa on the IFTTT (If This, Then That) app. I would LOVE to be able to design a recipe in IFTTT where I can say, "Alexa, Goodnight" and she tells Vivint to turn off all my lights, lock all my doors, and set the alarm to Stay. Saying each of these commands individually is quite the chore each night. There are endless combinations of commands that would be AWESOME if you could say one simple phrase and they’re already packaged together. (4 out of 5)