Amazon launches Map View for Alexa-connected devices in smart homes
Amazon announced at its fall 2023 product launch event that smart home users would be able to control their smart devices via a new map interface that was coming to Alexa. Starting November 14, Map View is now available for those who signed up for the public preview.
Alexa users who opt-in to Map View can use their LiDAR-equipped phones to scan their rooms, creating a digital floor plan of their living spaces.
From the new interface, smart devices can be managed, controlled, unpinned or deleted – individually, or multiple gadgets on the same floor, as long as they can connect to Alexa. That includes smart locks, WiFi plugs, thermostats and compatible cameras like the Xiaomi smart camera.
Users might be wary of scanning their living spaces into the Alexa app, but Amazon claims privacy is "built into Map View from the beginning". Map View provides the option to choose only particular rooms, and it is also possible to delete entire floor plans from the map. Map View also does not permit sharing of maps between different customer accounts.
Some of the features might change before Map View's global rollout next year. For now, Map View can only be set up on specific LiDAR-equipped iOS devices (that includes the pro models of iPhone 12 or higher, and the 4th, 5th or 6th generation iPad pro). After setting up, the created map can be accessed from the Alexa app on any iOS device with the user's credentials logged in.
Map View is expected to come to the new Echo hub smart controller in early 2024. You can preorder it on Amazon.