Alexa Stories January 16

I love home automation. For so long I have bought a thing or two here and there to expand my smart home, but up to this point the high-cost of HomeKit-enabled accessories has kept me from going all-in on light bulbs and switches.

When I made the switch to using Alexa as my primary voice assistant, one of the deciding factors was how inexpensive it is to buy Alexa gear compared to competitors that support Apple HomeKit. Head below for a look at which lighting products I’m using to illuminate my home. expand full story

Alexa Stories January 11

At CES 2019, Ecovacs Robotics showed off its latest robot vacuum, the Deebot Ozmo 960. What differentiates the Ozmo 960 from some of the company’s other high-end cleaners is the implementation of AI that detects obstacles like cables, socks, and more. Once it finds these items, the robot avoids them entirely so it doesn’t clog itself and or damage the item in question.

Without a doubt, this is a feature that every robot vacuum should have, but don’t. Thankfully this type of innovation is bound to expand throughout the rest of the market since it is what consumers expect from automated devices. expand full story

Alexa Stories January 10

It only took a few weeks of using Alexa to make me want everything I own to offer some sort of integration with Amazon’s ever-popular voice assistant. Prior to adding around fifteen Echo Dots throughout my home, I would have seen something like Cybic’s Alexa-equipped Legend bicycle as sort of ridiculous, but now I actually want one.

In addition to Alexa, the Cybic Legend also packs impressive features like Wi-Fi, 3G, and a touchscreen. All of this is put into what I consider a sleek-looking design that I would love to ride along the trails around my home. expand full story

Alexa Stories January 2

Up to this point, I have been adamant about using Siri as the only virtual assistant in my home. Feelings on this began to change as Siri failed my wife and I time and time again. Whether it be our iPhones not hearing us say “Hey Siri” several times in a row, or seeing them change the correct transcription of what we actually said into what it thought we said, these failures have really gotten on our nerves. For this reason and many others, I have bought several Echo Dots and am now using Alexa to control my smart home accessories. expand full story

Alexa Stories December 14, 2018

Voice assistants from Apple, Google, and Amazon can be both delightful and frustrating to use. Sometimes I facepalm at how badly they misunderstand me, but truth be told, I am happy they exist because they do make living in a smart home much simpler. With the announcement that Anki Vector will receive an update to provide access to Alexa next week, it is quite possible that more of these little robots could find themselves a home. expand full story

Alexa Stories December 7, 2018

expiredAmazon has Harman Kardon’s Alexa-enabled Allure Home Speaker for $166 (Reg. $250)

Amazon is offering the Harman Kardon Alexa-enabled Allure Home Speaker for $166.12 shipped. Available in limited quantities at Rakuten for $150. Amazon’s offer is $83 off the going rate found at retailers like Newegg, about $35 under Harman Kardon direct, and among some of the best prices we have tracked. Allure offers 360-degree lighting and audio in addition to Alexa integration for controlling smart home gear using just your voice. Rated 4+ stars from over 60% of reviewers.

Alexa Stories December 5, 2018

expiredGrab two of Amazon’s latest Echo Dots for Black Friday pricing: $50 shipped (Reg. $100)

Update 12/05 @ 2:15 PM: Amazon offers a two-pack of its third generation Echo Dot for $50 shipped. Just add two of the Alexa-imbued smart speakers to your cart, where the price will automatically drop. Normally you’d pay $100 for two of them, but today’s offer is good for a $10 discount from their current sale price. That matches our Black Friday offer and is one of the best we’ve seen outside of limited promotions. Amazon’s latest iteration of the Echo Dot does everything its predecessors could, but now features an improved design and more. Rated 4.5/5 stars from over 2,600 customers.

Alexa Stories November 23, 2018

expiredHarman Kardon’s Allure Bluetooth Home Speaker offers 360º audio and Alexa: $150 (save $100)

Amazon is offering the Harman Kardon Allure Bluetooth Home Speaker for $149.95 shipped. Matched at Harman Audio. Regularly fetching closer to $250 at retailers like B&H, this discount saves you $100 and is a match for lowest price we have tracked. Enjoy 360-degree Harman Kardon quality audio from a speaker that also takes orders via Alexa. Rated 4+ stars by nearly 65% of reviewers.

Alexa Stories November 13, 2018

It’s hard to be a lover of both antiques and technology these days. This is due in part to the majority of consumers that expect tech companies to ship futuristic looking devices that get thinner and more minimalist in each iteration. While this isn’t likely to bother too many of us, there are still quite a few who truly enjoy retro styling accompanied by the latest and greatest tech.

If having Alexa in an antique phone is something that you’ve always dreamed of, Grain Design may have just what you have been looking for. The company is producing what it calls Alexaphones. These devices are composed of real antique telephones with an Echo Dot connected directly to the receiver. expand full story

Alexa Stories October 31, 2018

expiredAnker’s Genie Smart Speaker provides access to Alexa-exclusive Black Friday deals: $17.50 (50% off)

Eufy Home (owned by Anker) via Amazon is offering its Genie Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa for $17.49 shipped when clipping the on-page coupon. That’s 50% off the going rate offered by retailers like Amazon and within $3 of the lowest price we have tracked. This speaker makes for a cost-effective alternative to Amazon’s Echo lineup. It’s also an easy way to gain access to Alexa-exclusive Black Friday deals. Rated 4+ stars by nearly 65% of reviewers. Learn more by taking a look at our hands-on review.

Alexa Stories October 12, 2018

Earlier today, Amazon announced on its developer blog that it is providing new ways for Echo devices to communicate with smart doorbells and cameras. More specifically, developers now have access to three new APIs called Doorbell Event Source, Motion Sensor, and Alexa.RTCSessionController. It’s a move that is not too surprising considering that Amazon bought Ring, a pillar of the smart doorbell industry, earlier this year for around a billion dollars.

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Alexa Stories September 30, 2018

expiredEcho Spot offers Alexa with a built-in display for $100 (Reg. $130), more

PC Richard & Son offers the Amazon Echo Spot in black for $99.99 shipped. Regularly $130, it just dropped to $110 at Amazon and other authorized retailers. Today’s deal is $30 off and a match for the best that we’ve seen. Echo Spot offers a unique take on Alexa with its built-in display that relays pertinent information. You can also make video calls to other Alexa devices with the built-in camera. Learn more in our hands-on review. Rated 4.5/5 stars. Head below for more.

Alexa Stories September 6, 2018

Considering that the list of smart home accessories keeps growing larger and larger, there always seem to be shiny, new options vying for our attention. Just last week we reported that Philips, a company probably best-known in the smart home world for its Hue light bulbs, has a hybrid switch in the works set to replace or join its current offerings. With options from Lutron, Wemo and others, there are certainly lots of switch products to consider, but with today’s release of Brilliant Control, things just got even more competitive.

Of all the options out there, Brilliant Control seems like it may have the chops to take the crown as being the most daring and innovative. Coming in with four models, Brilliant Control sports a built-in display, camera, controls for at least one light, and the promise that it ‘works with all smart home products’. expand full story

Alexa Stories July 26, 2018

Amazon has launched yet another feature for its ever-growing virtual assistant. With the arrival of Alexa Cast, Amazon has created a foundation to compete with Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Cast. The new feature allows users to ‘cast’ what they are listening to on their smartphone to nearby Alexa devices. While functionality is quite limited at launch, its capabilities will likely grow over time. expand full story

Alexa Stories July 18, 2018

In a world that has become packed with smart home products like thermostats, lightbulbs, power outlets, and more, it is only natural for the trend to hit new product categories and for more companies to join in and capitalize on the ever-growing interest in home automation. GE’s new microwave oven is the company’s latest addition to its smart home platform, referred to as WiFi Connect. Noteworthy features include Alexa integration and scan-to-cook technology, offering users the ability to scan barcodes on food products and have cooking instructions sent directly to the microwave.

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Alexa Stories March 30, 2018

Alexa seems to be inserting itself everywhere into our lives. You can use an Echo device to change your thermostat, start your car, order an Uber, or turn lights on and off. There are so many things you can do with Alexa, and it’s only expanding.

Today, Amazon announced expansions to its Video API and partnerships with many major TV companies. Soon, you’ll be able to say “Alexa, record Mythbusters” and the show will automatically be set to record on your DVR. Read on for more information.

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Alexa Stories February 22, 2018

expiredAdd two Amazon Echo Dots to your smart home for $70 ($100 value)

Best Buy offers two Amazon Echo Dots for $69.98 shipped. Separately, the Echo Dot normally runs around $50, with the current Amazon promotion giving you $10 off when you buy two. This sale matches the last offer we saw direct from Amazon last week. Over 97,000 Amazon shoppers rated it 4.3/5 stars.

Alexa Stories February 9, 2018

We’re finally starting to see more and more third-party smart speakers using platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. One of those smart speakers is made by British company KitSound, called the Voice One. I’ve spent the past week or so with this premium Alexa speaker running it through its paces, so let’s dive into our full review.

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