Okay, just got an Echo and a Home Mini to see which suits our household needs better.
Planning on getting a few extra smart devices to see how well they integrate but I have a question I can't find the answer to.
Obviously the Echo requires Amazon to provide the Alexa service and the Home Mini requires Google to make it work, but when it comes to smaller providers, like say a cheap smart plug socket from a non big brand, will it require a third party server in order to function?
I would assume that in order for the plug sockets own app to function it would rely on the vendors service to be active, but for Alexa to control it, does that also apply?
My concern is that there are so many smart devices available that some of the vendors will go out of business and so their online service will cease and the product will stop functioning.
I'm not worried about the plug socket app, it would be the Alexa/Google integration that I'd want to know would work for as long as Google or Amazon supported the Echo and Home Mini (which will hopefully be for a long time...)
Third party suppliers provide an app and a hub. These will continue to work until they don’t irrespective of the fortunes of the manufacturer. They do not use their own servers as smart things operate from your router and the hub. No internet access is required.
however, There are a plethora of Alexa skills which make the third party app effectively redundant e.g. Hue
Amazon have taken the plunge with the Echo Plus which provides a hub which, they say, works with a lot of things. The BIG problem with home smart stuff is they desperately need just one hub to rule them all, like your router does for all things wifi. The Echo Plus isthe first step towards this.