Alexa Gets The Smart Button She Deserves

I’m pleased to report that our long national nightmare is over… as Alexa finally has proper smart button accessories.

Unlike Apple HomeKit, it’s been pretty barren on the physical toggle front within Alexa’s ecosystem. In my household, under duress, we’ve repurposed the discontinued Amazon Echo Buttons to trigger various routines. But they’re massive and oh-so-bright, not to mention limited in capability.

Alexa recently identified and linked up “new” network resources, as she’s wont to do. But, unlike the typically spammy or occasionally creepy notice, this smartphone alert brings all good news. Yes, that’s right the Hue Dimmer Switch (and even Aurora) are now visible in the app and available to trigger routines or actions. In fact, what appears to be an entirely new “Remote” device type is available. Then again, the Alexa app is continually in flux without any sort of meaningful communication from Amazon.

I just left town and haven’t yet dug in. But my blogging compatriot Adam Miarka has started to configure his Hue switches and identified one early shortcoming — Alexa does not override Hue button functionality. Meaning both actions will fire at once and that needs to be accounted for. For me, I’ll be keeping Aurora as is but intend to repurpose at least one Hue dimmer as a fulltime Alexa switch to kick off music, toggle my Cree lighting, etc.

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