Alexa, tell Neato to clean the living room

Amazon’s Alexa has found its way into a variety of non-Amazon hardware devices, from smartwatches to entertainment hubs to kitschy refrigerator speakers. Now Alexa is popping up in vacuums.

Neato, which makes an Roomba competitor called the Botvac, just rolled out new software that lets Alexa users control their Botvac with their voices. The idea is that you’ll be able to commit the ultimate act of gadget-utopia laziness, shouting "Alexa, ask Neato to start cleaning!" across the living room to command your bot vacuum into action.

Dribble some food while sprawled on the couch watching Westworld? Dust bunny in the corner catch your eye, irritating you but just not enough to get up and do something about it? Just call to Alexa. Better than a vacuum remote. Who needs a remote? Not owners of this $699 robot vacuum. You can enable this "skill" by going into the Smart Home section of the Amazon Alexa mobile app and searching for "Neato."

As with other Alexa hardware integrations, there are some requirements and caveats. First, you’ll need an Alexa-enabled device, like an Echo speaker or an Amazon Fire TV with Alexa, that’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the bot vacuum. And while Neato offers three different Wi-Fi-connected vacuum models — the Botvac Connected, the Botvac D3 Connected, and the Botvac D5 Connected — this particular feature only works with the Botvac Connected model. A spokesperson for Neato says Alexa will be available for other vacuums in the future. Of course!


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