On a recent IoT Podcast, Frank called in asking about Amazon Echo devices he has at work and at home. He’d like to remotely control smart devices at either location from either location. And he’s not the only one. I’ve seen comments and requests on a number of online forums asking for this functionality since 2016.
Initially, we thought that this wasn’t possible. Due to COVID restrictions, we didn’t test this use case. So on the podcast, we said you can’t use Echo devices this way.
However, you can do it! I’m almost glad we were wrong because the ability to control devices in separate locations can be very useful.
After our show went live, Stacey tested this out since a few of our podcast listeners kindly reached out to say that they’re controlling Echo-connected devices in different places. She went to a nearby friend’s home, was provided connectivity to his home network, and then set up an Echo there using her own Amazon account. Sure enough, she was able to access and control devices there and at her home without any issues.
There is one minor caveat though. If you group your devices into rooms in the Alexa app: You’ll definitely need rooms for both locations and those rooms can’t have the same name. That makes sense, of course, but worth a mention.
So you might have a Family Room at home and a Family Vacation Room at a second home, for example.
In any case, this does work and I apologize that we answered Frank’s question incorrectly on the podcast. And we did provide an update on the most recent podcast to provide the correct information. Now, if we could just get over the pandemic so we have both work and home locations, more of us could actually use this function!
To hear our correction and more details on how this works, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: