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Alexa heads to Vegas, opens at the Wynn

If you're staying the Wynn hotel, you'll soon be able to open the blinds and turn on the lights in your room with a voice command.


The smart home is moving to Vegas.

Starting this month, the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas will be adding the Amazon Echo to each of its rooms. The always-listening speaker will allow you to open the blinds, change the temperature, turn on the lights, and control the TV with your voice.

Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn called the Echo "effortlessly convenient" and "seamlessly delicious" in the announcement video. The Echo will be integrated into the Wynn's suites this month and will be installed in all 4,748 rooms by summer 2017.

For Amazon, this high-profile integration will let people who have never heard of the smart home try out the Echo. It's a big win (no pun intended) for one of the smart home's biggest surprise hits. We use the Echo -- and the built-in assistant Alexa -- for all sorts of tasks in the CNET Smart Home. In the Wynn, you'll just be able to control your room at first, though personal assistant tasks will be added later.

It's not clear which brands of smart devices, if any, the Wynn will be installing along with the Echo. Alexa doesn't control the smart home on its own. It works with a number of different smart lights like Philips and LIFX. It works with thermostats such as Nest and Ecobee. But Alexa only has a couple of workaround methods of controlling entertainment centers and blinds at the moment.

Perhaps Amazon is developing proprietary skills for the Wynn integrations. A representative from Wynn emailed the following statement:

"Wynn Las Vegas is working with current building management systems and service providers to link in-room technology with Alexa. New proprietary skills will be added as installation rolls out, to be announced when they are completed."

The Wynn confirmed that they have Crestron, a high-end, customized automation service, installed in some of their suites now. Alexa has a Crestron skill, so that could be part of the answer. Though, getting Crestron in every room would be a pretty big task.

Either way, I'm excited that the Echo and Wynn are equating smart home convenience with Vegas-style luxury.

Update, December 15 at 7:47 a.m. PT: Adds quote from Wynn and details about Crestron.