In a bid for total smart home domination, Amazon has expanded Alexa’s ‘Hunches’ feature to act independently.
This means if you fall asleep with a light on, the digital assistant may turn the lights off for you, or if you’re on vacation, it could lower the thermostat to save you money on your electricity bill.
This feature isn’t entirely new. Alexa’s Hunches launched in 2018 in the U.S., but previously it needed to ask for user permissions. After a recent update, Alexa can make these changes on its own, making it even more useful. The Verge notes an Amazon support article says that users will have control over which Hunches Alexa can act on or not. That said, the article in question is a bit vague, so MobileSyrup has reached out to Amazon for more information.
Amazon is also rolling out a new Energy section to the Alexa app to estimate how many kWh of energy your connected devices use in a week.
As of right now, neither of these features appear in my Alexa app on iOS or Android. When I asked my Echo Dot about Hunches, it seems to suggest that it can work here, but nothing is currently present in my apps. We’ve reached out to Amazon to confirm when these features are making their way to Canada.
Hopefully, the new Hunches feature rolls out in Canada because the prospect of Alexa being able to automatically turns the light off is exciting. It hasn’t happened often, but I’ve definitely forgotten to turn off my lights more than once, only to wake up to a weirdly bright house.
I’ve often found that smart homes are just as much of a hassle as dumb homes once you get bogged down in too many apps. Having a voice assistant helps cut down on this by making it easy to ask for lights to come on and off, but the next step are lights that turn on and off on their own, and this update makes me hope that Alexa could soon be capable of doing this.
Update 26/01/2021: Amazon has responded to MobileSyrup claiming that the company has nothing to share about automatic Hunches coming to Canada.
Source: The Verge