|Amazon Alexa is now capable of turning on the user's smart devices. / Photo by: seewhatmitchsee via 123rf|
Recently, Amazon announced a new feature for their Alexa enabled products that would allow it to turn on smart devices that can’t normally be turned on using the cloud. This new feature, called the Wake-on-Lan Controller, is expected to make these devices run more smoothly and operate more easily, even if they are difficult to turn on from afar.
The feature is quite simple and familiar; it activates the moment the user uses a command like ‘Alexa, turn on my TV’. This would then send a signal to the new Wake-on-Lan Controller and tells it to send out a special command, over Wi-Fi or ethernet to the target device via its MAC address. This command is referred to as a ‘Turn on Directive’, where it ‘wakes’ up the device immediately, making it much simpler to work with and easier to turn on, as there are no other steps required for this and no update needed for Alexa or any other TV or smart device. There are a lot of smart devices on the market -- like TVs from VIZIO and LG -- that already support this new feature, and customers will be able to use it when it starts to roll out ‘in the next several months’ or so. Brian Crum, the senior product manager at Amazon, has stated, “Although device makers can already use the Alexa Smart Home API to control TVs and other equipment, until today, customers were often not able to power on devices in low power mode. We have now delivered an alternative that can help power on devices, without requiring device makers to make hardware changes.”
This is a welcome development for any Amazon smart device owner, as this will allow them to more efficiently turn on and use their smart devices around their house, and take one step closer towards achieving a completely smart home.