The key to con­trol­ling your smart de­vices are ‘Skills’. Let’s look at how to use them to con­trol Hive…

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The first thing to do is open the Ama­zon Alexa app and sign in. Hit the menu top-left and choose Skills from the list. Here you’ll see a shopfront of all the ‘skills’ Alexa can link to. There are loads here, from knowl­edge-based ser­vices (such as chem­istry facts) to games, quizzes and much more. But we’re go­ing to fo­cus on smart home. If you haven’t done so al­ready, it’s a good idea to name your de­vices ac­cord­ing to the room they’re in. You need to do this via the app it­self, and then go back to the Alexa app and re­peat the Dis­cover De­vices step. This makes sure ev­ery­thing is linked prop­erly to Ama­zon Echo. We set this up on a Hive de­vice, and while Hive’s not here in Aus, the process is trans­fer­able. Search for Hive (or your de­sired prod­uct) and choose its skill. Hit the En­able Skill but­ton. Next, link your ac­count to au­tho­rise Ama­zon Echo to con­trol your de­vices. Hit Link Ac­count, add your de­tails and wait for the con­fir­ma­tion. OK, now all of your smart de­vices are linked you can con­trol them. But it’s also a pretty cool thing to add groups. This means you can turn the whole of your down­stairs lights off at once, for in­stance. Hit the Cre­ate Group but­ton in the Smart Home sec­tion of the Alexa app and fol­low the steps. Now you add your de­vices. Once your ac­count is linked you can ei­ther do this from the Smart Home menu in the Alexa app or sim­ply say, ‘Alexa, add my de­vices’. You’ll then see a list of all your rel­e­vant de­vices ap­pear, in­clud­ing any ‘recipes’ for light­ing that you can cre­ate in the de­vice’s app or your ac­count. It’s time to test ev­ery­thing out. To do this, sim­ply say, ‘Alexa, turn on the down­stairs lights’. Or even, ‘Alexa, turn my iron off’. Es­sen­tially, you can now con­trol all of your de­vices with­out lift­ing a fin­ger, and Alexa it’s smart enough to recog­nise if you’re call­ing out a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct.

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