Showing posts with label Alexa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alexa. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Alexa Controlled Microwave

I think I'd really rather have the voice-control built in to the microwave - requiring proximity - instead of being able to yell at an Echo have it issue commands via the cloud. But if you want an Alexa Controlled Microwave you can order it from Amazon for $155 - which includes an Echo Dot.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Home Assistant

Don't click if you don't have time to go down an awesome rabbit hole of home automation... Home Assistant. Doing cool things and saving myself time could be a full-time job.

Works with my Honeywell thermostats, Wemo lights and switches, and probably just about everything else via IFTTT.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Alexa in my Car: Roav VIVA

Now I can get Alexa in my car... the Roav VIVA is an Alexa-enabled device that plugs into the 12 volt accesssory socket in your car. It has two USB charging ports. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth to get internet access to enable Alexa.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Smart Dumbbells

Of course they are... Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbell (Pair), 5 lb - 60 lb:
"Integrated Bluetooth Smart technology syncs and records sets, reps, and weight
Free app with over 70 exercises, 6 week Challenge, journal, and more"
Unfortunately they aren't Alexa compatible, so you can't ask her to do your overhead presses.




Friday, January 26, 2018

Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet, Smart Plug

No surprise, I've done it again... I bought another Alexa controllable smart plug. But wait! This one is totally different. It's an outdoor plug - Oittm Outdoor Wi-Fi Outlet, Smart Plug Socket! I've got a string of lights around the porch on the back of my house. They aren't on a switch, so we have to plug them in every time we want to use them. It is fairly common to turn them on to get a little more light when we are grilling. Usually this means having our hands full when we go out there, so the voice control will be great. (I know first world problem - but first world solutions, too!)


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Switch Bot

Switch Bot allows you to retro-fit traditional switches for control via voice or an app. It is a little mechanical bot that will flip the switch for you. It is an interesting solution for all the legacy switches that are out there. It's not nearly as elegant as replacing the switch and being able to manipulate the physical world starts my Skynet red flags waving.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Alexa Cannibalism

Interesting chart about what things are now being done with Alexa and her friends... I know we stream a lot of music (vs. doing it from our smart phones), so that fits. We stream WUOT (the local NPR station) on our phones. If WUOT added a skill for streaming, that would also move off our phones to the Echo Dot/Anker Eufy Genie. I'm not seeing that Alexa replaces much time with tablets, the TV, or our computers - other than doing some basic voice commands for lights, thermostat, etc.




See the article at Business Insider.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Power Strip with Four Alexa Controllable Outlets

WiFi Smart Power Strip, Conico Smart Surge Protector with 4 USB Charging Ports and 4 Smart AC Plugs for Multi Outlets Power Socket Extension Cord, Compatible with Alexa, Voice Controlled by Echo for $28.

I'm not sure where I would use this, but having four separate outlets (plus the USB ports), is cool.



I don't think plugging my dish washer, coffee machine, and TV in to it would match my use case.


Monday, January 15, 2018

ZOLO Halo - Amazon Echo Clone

So Anker/Eufy is adding a better speaker to their Alexa device line up - the ZOLO Halo. (And yes, their naming is as bad as some of the Chinese radios.) I like my Eufy Genie - great purchase from a value perspective when I got it for $20. I don't feel the need for a better speaker, but if I did, then I'd definitely consider the ZOLO Halo at $40.



Friday, January 5, 2018

PSA: Wi-Fi

Seeing another deal on an Alexa enabled plug - $12 with code 7FRQNW4M. This is one is a little different in that it includes energy monitoring/tracking.
Which leads to my public service announcement for the day...

I've been snagging all these Alexa enabled devices and one thing they seem to have in common is that they only use 2.4 GHz. This is the crappy, crowded, interference ridden, only 3 non-overlapping channels band. That's bad, but workable (generally the range is better), so not the end of the world. But, as a general rule, make sure all your important devices (Smart TV, streaming devices, laptops, etc.) are using 5 GHz.

Deal via Kinja Deals.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Eufy Smart Bulb

So, I'm all in on the Alexa/Google enabled home as you can tell. I'm enjoying playing with the various plugs, switches, etc. I even got one of the Eufy Smart Bulbs ($12) for Christmas despite my uncertainty about the benefit of going the smart bulb route.

It works just fine from the app or using Alexa voice-control, but:

1. Bulbs eventually go bad.
2. There is no button on it, so I can't turn it on if the internet is down.

Still, $12 isn't a lot for a little experimentation.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Eufy Genie (Amazon Echo Dot Clone)

I've been thinking about getting another Amazon Echo Dot for a while now. I was especially tempted when they were available as refurbs for $40.

So, it should be no surprise, that I bought the Eufy Genie for $29. Eufy is a division of Anker - which has a good reputation for the quality of all their phone accessories.

The Eufy Genie is very similar to the Echo Dot, but is missing a few features like Bluetooth and the ability to complete calls between Alexa devices. I've never used the Bluetooth, so that's a non-issue for me and Eufy says additional features will be added via firmware updates. I read a few reviews and folks were split on saving a few dollars vs. getting the actual Echo Dot. For me, I think I'll be happy with it even if it isn't perfect. We have one Echo Dot today and I wouldn't mind having several more. If this works well then I can save some money, but otherwise it might go in a less used location.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Amazon Echo Dot Pricing

I'm not sure I understand the pricing...

You can get a new Echo Dot for $39.99 (limited time offer).

Or you can get a refurbished Echo Dot for $37.99.

They both have the same warranty, so no real risk to save $2 dollars, but with the prices so close I don't get it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PSA: Don't Buy an Amazon Echo Dot

Don't buy an Amazon Echo Dot. It is a gateway drug. Now I want to buy Alexa-enabled outlets and switches. And maybe I need this battery pack, so I can move the Dot from room to room with me.

It'll cost me a few bucks up front and it will be great when it works. It also means, invariably at some point, I'll have to troubleshoot something that never fails like an outlet or light switch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Computer

I've been toying with the idea of buying an Amazon Echo.

They've made the wake word configurable, so you can say "computer" and Alexa will respond.

I'm definitely going to order one now.

For those that don't get the reference (the fun starts around the 1 minute mark):