Home automation with Alexa!

Mr Robot, the Amazon Prime series, introduced me to Alexa.  Although Alexa’s response were somewhat manipulated for editorial purposes it still seemed that it would be a useful addition to my existing home automation devices.

To get the most out of Alexa you’ll need another intermediary hub device to talk to some less connected (IOT) older devices such as TVs, cable provider boxes etc.  Most of these devices can be individually controlled through proprietary apps, they can’t be orchestrated into complex activities.

The Logitech Harmony Hub (aka ultimate hub) is an excellent bridge to devices that can be controlled by IR and bluetooth. So much so, Amazon now offer a bundle of both the Alexa dot and Harmony Hub!

Using the Harmony app, setup is surprisingly easy! Just manually add your traditional devices (TV, Home Theatre, IPTV, etc) and then Harmony will automatically discover the wifi enabled devices (Philips Hue etc). The Harmony app will then suggest activities or you can create you own. Once that’s done simply add the appropriate skill to Alexa and your all set.

If asking Alexa to “tell harmony to turn” on or off devices becomes a bit of a pain then try the third party skill and app Yonomi.  Yonomi is a bit more of a natural way of defining activities and devices!


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