Amazon Echo is a Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker with "Alexa"-powered voice controls built right in. After launching late in 2014 as an invite-only product, Echo is now available to everybody on Amazon, and with a new open development kit for third-party device makers, it looks primed to play a growing role in the smart home. Click through to see everything Alexa can talk to -- and the integrations that are in the works, too.
Amazon Echo first dipped its toes into smart-home waters by integrating directly with a select number of popular third-party gadgets. The most notable was the Philips Hue line of color-changing LED light bulbs. Sync them up with Amazon's smart speaker, and you'll be able to tell Alexa to turn them on and off, or dim them up and down.
You won't, however, be able to tell them to change colors (at least not yet). For that reason, syncing Alexa up with the white-light-only Philips Hue White bulbs might make more sense. And hey, they only cost $15 a piece.
Philips Hue isn't your only option for Echo-compatible lighting -- there's also Lifx, which makes color-changing LED bulbs with Wi-Fi smarts. Unlike Philips, Lifx offers a custom skill with extra controls -- including voice-activated color changes.
You don't need to buy new, third-gen Lifx bulbs in order to control their colors with Alexa -- the original Lifx and bulb and the second-gen Lifx Color 1000 LEDs work with Echo, too.
Same goes for the Lifx White 800, which sticks to the white light spectrum and cuts out the colors.
Alexa can also control the Lifx Z color-changing light strips.
TP-Link also makes relatively inexpensive smart bulbs that can connect directly with Alexa.
Osram Lightify smart bulbs work with Alexa, too.
Stack's presence-sensing smart bulbs are another Alexa-ready lighting option.
Kuna's smart porch light is Alexa-compatible, and it's got a built-in camera, too.
You could also connect Alexa with Emberlight, a smart bulb adapter. Screw in any old light bulb you like, and Emberlight will smarten it right up.
You can also sync Alexa up with the Haiku-branded lineup of connected ceiling fans and peripheral smart home gadgets offered from Big Ass Solutions, makers of the original "Big Ass Fan" and the Haiku L Series smart fan, pictured here. The company introduced Amazon Echo controls at CES in 2016.
Another product that Alexa can control right now is the Belkin WeMo Switch. Plug it in, then plug something else into it, and Alexa can turn it on or off at your command.
Alexa can also control the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, which does the same thing as the original, but adds energy-tracking smarts.
iHome is another smart plug-maker that offers Alexa compatibility. Its plugs also work with Apple HomeKit, so you can turn them on and off using Siri commands, too.
iDevices also makes smart switches that work with both Alexa and Siri.
There's an outdoor version of that iDevices Switch, too.
iDevices also makes Alexa-compatible thermostats.
Nest still makes the highest profile smart thermostat on the market -- and yep, you can control it with Alexa commands.
Honeywell makes a Nest competitor called the Lyric -- it works with Alexa, too.
Ecobee is another big name in the smart thermostat game, and its newest offering, the Ecobee3 Lite, is one of our favorite Alexa-compatible smart climate gadgets.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 is another smart thermostat that works with Alexa -- and it costs a little less than Nest and Ecobee.
Of course, if you just want the cheapest Alexa-compatible smart thermostat, go with Sensi. It's pretty plain, but it'll get the job done.
If you just want Alexa to turn your air conditioner on and off, you could pick up this smart, Alexa-ready model from Frigidaire.
Your other option? Pick up Tado, a smart controller for dumb air conditioners. It works like a relay -- you tell Alexa to turn the AC on, Alexa tells Tado to turn the AC on, and Tado tells your AC to turn itself on.
In addition to smart plugs, Belkin also makes an automatable WeMo Light Switch. If you're comfy with an installation that's a bit more hands-on, it's an easy way to smarten up a light fixture in your home. With Echo on board, you can let Alexa call the shots.
Another Alexa-compatible smart switch option: Lutron's Caseta In-Wall Smart Dimmers. They cost more than WeMo, but we love the features and performance.
Lutron's plug-in dimmers will work, too. Aside from letting you dim a lamp up and down, you'll be able to control everything with Alexa commands.
Once the lights are dimmed down low, you might feel like watching some Netflix. If you've got a Logitech Harmony Hub in your living room, you can just say, "Alexa, turn on Netflix."
Alexa can control entire smart home platforms, too. One example is SmartThings -- hook it up with Amazon Echo, and you can use Alexa to control anything in your setup.
Insteon is another example of a smart-home platform that works with Amazon Echo.
Same goes for the Wink Hub, now in its second generation. If you're using it to control automated lights and switches, you'll be able to sync all of them with Alexa.
The Amazon Echo smart speaker can also trigger scenes in houses using a Control4 custom-installed smart home setup.
Same goes for homes that use Nexia -- it's a platform that works just fine with Alexa.
Securifi makes a smart router called Almond 3 that works with Alexa. Aside from turning paired lights and switches on and off, you can tell Alexa to kick the kids off the Wi-Fi at bedtime. Seriously.
Enable GE's "Geneva" skill for Amazon Echo, and you'll be able to control your kitchen appliances using Alexa commands.
That includes GE's Cafe Series fridge with a built-in Keurig coffeemaker. You can ask Alexa to start heating the water up so that it's ready for you to brew a quick cup.
Enable Samsung's Alexa skill, and you'll be able to ask her to start a cleaning cycle with the brand's flagship robot vacuum, the PowerBot.
Alexa can also fire up the Neato Botvac Connected for a quick cleaning.
Alexa also works with the Automatic connected car gadget, which plugs into your vehicle's onboard diagnostic port. Sync it up with Amazon Echo, and you'll be able to ask Alexa how much gas you've got in your tank, or even where you parked your car last.
So, you've just changed into your favorite pajamas on a cold winter's evening, and you're climbing into bed for a peaceful night's sleep. Suddenly, you realize you can't remember if you locked the front door or not. Fortunately, you've got the August Smart Lock and an Amazon Echo product in your bedroom, so you can just say "Alexa, lock the door." Nighty night.
The Nucleus Anywhere Intercom doesn't just work with Alexa -- it has Alexa built right in.
Amazon Echo also has its own channel on IFTTT, a free online automation service. That makes it possible to craft automation "recipes" where Echo triggers other IFTTT-compatible smart gadgets and Web services.
Orange Chef is another name that Amazon is investing in. The product is a smart countertop that senses in ingredients and weighs your food as you're cooking. With Alexa on board, you'll be able to ask her about the nutritional content of whatever it is you're making.
Amazon's also backing development for Garageio, a smart gadget that lets you open and close your garage door from your phone. Connect it with Echo, and Alexa will take it from there.
Moving forward, Amazon hopes that a growing number of third parties will jump in under Alexa's umbrella. Scout Home Security is one that's already in the mix -- Amazon is investing in the system as part of its $100 million Alexa fund, and basic Echo controls for arming and disarming your security system are already available.
Alarm.com is another cloud-based home security system that offers Alexa powered voice controls.