The name Conrol4 might not instantly ring a bell, but the company is well-known among those who take home automation seriously. Now it is teaming up with another company making strides in the smart home, announcing on Thursday that it is working with Amazon to bring support for Alexa to its range of home automation products.
“On average, our customers have over 40 connected devices in their homes that are orchestrated by Control4 and now, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa offers another convenient way to control all of them,” Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn said in a statement. “This integration combines Control4’s automation power and extensive support for connected devices with the intuitive voice control from Amazon Alexa, reinforcing our shared vision to make life in a connected home ever-more personalized, comfortable, and hassle-free.”
If you’re wondering why this is big news, the answer lies in a single sentence: “Alexa, turn off the house.” This one phrase can turn off the lights, lock the doors, turn down the thermostat, and even arm the security system, letting homeowners walk out the door without wondering whether the proverbial stove is on.
Easily turning off the lights isn’t the only handy feature the new skill brings to Alexa, as a number of different “scenes” can be set up, grouping several small changes into one command. A “cooking” scene, for example, could adjust the lighting in the kitchen for better visibility and turn the TV to your favorite cooking-related channel all at once.
“Controlling smart home devices using voice is one of the most popular features of Alexa, which is why we’re especially pleased to be working with Control4,” said Amazon Alexa smart home director Charlie Kindel. “The vast breadth of devices Control4 supports, brings new capability and an enhanced user experience to the Alexa-enabled household.”
These features brought by the new Control4 Alexa skill aren’t limited to the Amazon Echo, but instead work across the entire range of products including the Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and even Fire TV devices. Additionally, users will require a Control4 4Sight subscription, which costs $100 per year. For more information, see the Control4 blog.