Rain Bird brings Amazon’s Alexa to irrigation control

March 5, 2018 -  By

Rain Bird is using Amazon’s voice-activated personal assistant, Alexa, to change up how users manage irrigation systems.

In the U.S. and Canada, Alexa commands can now be used with Rain Bird’s professional series controllers, the ESP-TM2 and ESP-Me, when outfitted with a LNK WiFi Module, as well as with ST8-WiFi controllers offered through retail channels. International availability is being planned for a future release.

“Enabling Alexa opens up a whole new world for customers using our WiFi-enabled controllers,” said Nick Kelsch, senior product manager for Rain Bird controllers. “Now, homeowners can manage their irrigation systems with simple verbal commands. And with 130 commands available, Rain Bird is changing what you can ask of your irrigation controller.”

After installing the free Rain Bird app on an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, new users simply need to enable Amazon Alexa within the Rain Bird app settings and log into their Amazon Alexa account to enable the new Rain Bird feature. The Rain Bird app allows users to give watering programs and zones unique names of their own choosing. They can also request local weather forecasts and manage their rain sensor.

“Personalization is key for us, which is why we wanted to ensure that we can provide both custom program and zone names that mean something to our customers,” said Randy Montgomery, Rain Bird engineering manager. “Saying, ‘Ask Rain Bird to water the front yard’ is much more intuitive than saying, ‘Ask Rain Bird to water Zone 4.’”

Users can ask Alexa how to start managing their Rain Bird irrigation system, to list available commands, to list their property’s irrigation zones or watering schedules, to inquire on watering time remaining or to ask about the status of current seasonal watering adjustments.

Photo: Rain Bird

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