Tado and Amazon team up to offer voice-controlled heating systems
From the smallest of smartphones to the mightiest of PCs, voice-controlled apps are big business. We have come a long way from the era when voice-controlled applications meant wearing headsets or using a microphone. By the term of this decade, we shall be saying “O.K. Google, Siri or Cortana for anything from train times to pizza preferences. Amazon, in an alliance with Tado, will enable you to do the same with your central heating system.
The Tado smart thermostat system works with Amazon Echo, the online retailer’s voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker. Already available in America, the Amazon Echo speaker will soon be rolled out to the UK this autumn. It works like a microphone (no, forget that; it has seven microphones) as well as a speaker. Unlike a bog standard microphone, it can order pizza and tell you when the next train is due. With Tado’s smart thermostat system, it could keep you warm in winter too. Or cool in the summertime.
This autumn will see the arrival of Tado’s voice-controlled heating system in the UK, Germany, and Austria. All of which neatly timed for the cooler weather which awaits us all. Next to the Amazon Echo speaker (or its smaller sibling without speaker functions, the Amazon Echo Dot), voice-controlled heating is possible with Tado’s Smart Thermostat v3 Starter Kit. At £199, this will come with an internet bridge and a thermostat. £179 will buy you a Smart Radiator Thermostat Starter Kit (with two radiator thermostats and an internet bridge). A compatible iOS or Android smartphone is required.
According to the Tado website, their Smart Thermostats will enable you to save 31% on your energy bills. Where the savings are made lies in its flexibility. Whilst you’re away from home, you can turn the thermostat down. From your smartphone.
How it works:
- With your newly purchased Amazon Echo speaker, plug the speaker into the mains supply.
- Download the Alexa app onto an iOS or Android smartphone.
- Download the Tado app, again onto your iOS or Android smartphone.
- Connect the internet bridge to your router.
- The Smart Thermostat, whether you choose the wall-mounted thermostat or the pair of radiator thermostats will connect to the internet via your internet bridge.
- Through its internet access, your thermostat uses geolocation to set your home’s optimum temperature.
- Once up and running, you can use the Tado app from your smartphone to control the heating in each of your rooms or all the rooms.
- To change the thermostat settings through Amazon Echo, open your app and begin each sentence with “Alexa”. For example, “Alexa, could you please turn the master bedroom heating down by three degrees?”
The system is designed to work with 95% of electrical installations, and we think Tado’s system has the makings of a winner. A similar system for industrial premises would be a boon. You can either rent or buy from the Tado website. Plus you can buy a system outright from Currys PC World or Maplin stores.
ST Heating Services, 22 September 2016.