Hello, my name is Michael Palermo, and I recently joined the Alexa team as the first dedicated evangelist for smart home. When friends and acquaintances ask what I do, they often looked puzzled before I get past my title. Inevitably I get questions like: What is a “smart home”? Who or what is Alexa? Why are you called an evangelist?
In this post, I’ll answer a lot of these questions. Granted, you may already be familiar with some of the topics, but stay tuned as I will also provide additional insights as to why it might matter to you.
What is a “Smart Home”?
The term “smart home” or “Connected Home” (CoHo) refers to a residence consisting of one or more smart products which enhance the living experience with benefits such as convenience, control, and optimization of resources. A product is deemed “smart” when it is capable of communicating with other smart products and/or a user interface to manage it.
What is Alexa?
From a consumer perspective, a more familiar brand name is Echo. Alexa is the voice service that powers Echo and other similar devices like Amazon Tap and Echo Dot. With Alexa, developers can build new voice experiences with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or by adding voice to connected devices with Alexa Voice Service (AVS).
My job role marries the exciting realms of smart home and Alexa together. The ability to control elements within the home with natural voice interaction is highly compelling for the consumer. For the developer it is another dimension of innovation, and it is possible to do today with Smart Home Skill API. With the Smart Home Skill API, developers can enable voice control over their smart products.
At the core, I champion Alexa to the smart home communities. I do so by speaking at conferences, presenting online webinars, and writing posts such as this. I look forward to empowering developers who have a smart home focus with the ability to provide voice interaction to their work. In short, I am proud to be a member of the Alexa team and be a voice to smart home.
Why Alexa and Smart Home Matter
Whether you’re a consumer or developer, you may wish to remote monitor or control your devices, automate or schedule home tasks, or simply enhance your entertainment system. Or maybe you see the potential of this rapidly expanding field. Perhaps you are an entrepreneur, a hobbyist, and/or an IoT (Internet of Things) enthusiast and have an innovative idea to bring into this market. One way or another, you realize that smart home is gaining relevancy with time.
Learn more about creating a smarter home with Alexa and stay tuned for my next post. I’ll dive into what a developer should know and do before creating your first smart home skill.