Amazon today confirmed that the Amazon Echo is coming to the UK, powered by its onboard smart agent Alexa.

Announcing a range of partnerships, one of the more interesting for the UK is Hive, the smarthome offshoot of British Gas. 

Hive has confirmed that you'll be able to ask the Amazon Echo to turn on lights in a particular room, if you're using Hive Lights, as well as requesting a particular temperature through your Hive Active Heating.

In addition, you'll be able to activate your Hive Active Plugs so you can turn things on and off.

Using voice might seem a bit weird, but it's going to be useful in situations where you don't want to use your hands, like when wrestling with a tantruming toddler, or when you're half way through stuffing a chicken. 

Hive tells us that they've discovered that Alexa – the smart part of the Echo equation – will respond to a whole range of different requests, able to determine what you mean, without you being restricted by proscriptive language.

You'll need to have Hive's smarthome products, of course, as well as the Amazon Echo, which is on pre-order from Amazon now, with delivery from 28 September. 

Priced at £149, there's a £50 discount for Amazon Prime members who get their order in before 16 September. So hurry, don't delay, get your order in so you can bark orders at your heating system.