Circle with Disney adds Alexa support, rewards for completing chores

Tied into a new smart family platform called Circle Connections, Circle Media is launching a barrage of new apps and services for the Circle with Disney home network management device. For instance, the Amazon Alexa integration will let parents ask their Echo device about screen time usage specific to each family member. In addition, kids will be able to ask Alexa about time limits related to their home network usage.

The Circle Connections platform is opening up integration to FamilyTech apps as well. The ChoreMonster app lets parents assign chores and offer rewards related to the home network. After a child completes a specific number of chores, they may earn rewards like additional screen time or the ability to access the home’s Wi-Fi network beyond their bedtime.

Regarding connectivity with smart devices, Circle Media is pushing into fitness and automotive categories. Connecting with the Misfit line of activity trackers, parents will be able to set activity goals for teenagers in order for them to earn more screen time on mobile devices. Targeting distracted teen drivers, connectivity with Automatic will let parents disable access to social media networks and other distracting apps when a car is started.

Circle Media is also working with RAKKOON to monitor texting within iMessage as well as social media apps like Twitter and Instagram. Parents can set up notifications for inappropriate actions, like sexting or cyber bullying. In addition, automatic filtering can be set up as an option when the software detects too much inappropriate content.

Finally, Circle Media is connecting Circle with Disney with the IFTTT service platform, specifically for smart home integration. For instance, when a child’s bedtime arrives, connectivity to a smart lightbulb in their room could change colors before turning off automatically within a few minutes. Circle with Disney is priced at $99 and currently sold at major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.


Amazon and Best Buy halve the price of the Facebook Portal for Mother’s Day

Amazon and Best Buy both cut the price in half for the Facebook Portal smart display for Mother's Day. The Portal's smart camera will follow you as you move around the room during video calls. The Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Smart Home

From the kitchen to the bedroom, here are the best Alexa tips and tricks

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has plenty of neat skills. So many, in fact, it seems like new ones appear every day. We've rounded up the top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.

Amazon drops pre-order prices for Alexa-compatible Ring Smart Light starter kit

Amazon dropped the prices for Ring Smart Light Starter Kit bundles a week before the lights start shipping. Smart security cameras and lights turn on automatically and alert homeowners to visitors or intruders.
Smart Home

Whip it, blend it, and mix it up with the best hand mixers of 2019

A stand mixer takes up a lot of room on the counter, and it can also be quite expensive. Need an option that's not only affordable but also takes up very little real estate in your kitchen cabinets? Check out these hand mixers.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.

Amazon drops prices on Nespresso coffee and espresso machines

Amazon has dropped prices on Nespresso coffee machines and a milk frother in an Easter week sale. Nespresso's coffee appliances use single-serve capsules and one-button selection to produce barista-quality espresso and coffee at home.
Smart Home

Watch: Police responding to an alleged buglary find a Roomba, not a robber

Police officers in Washington County, Oregon responded to a call of a potential burglary and were surprised to find the perpetrator was actually just a Roomba. Body cam footage of the encounter has been released.

Amazon slashes Easter Week prices for Dyson vacuums and air purifiers

Amazon slashed the prices on many Dyson high-tech products, including vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and more for Easter Week. Dyson's premium household tools attract millions of fans and Amazon took deep discounts on popular products.
Smart Home

What you need to know before buying a new washer and dryer

Washers and dryers are big, expensive appliances that you'll want to last for decades. Our buying guide will help you sift through all the options and find the best machines for you.
Smart Home

Ring home security system now works as a hub for smart home devices

Ring is helping the issue of smart home fragmentation with its Works With Ring program. It lets thousands of smart home devices built on Z-Wave connect to Ring's Alarm Base Station.
Smart Home

Philips Hue users can activate their favorite routines through Google Home

Philips Hue expanded its Google Home integration through the Gentle Sleep and Wake routine. Just give Google the proper instructions are your lights will brighten or dim over half an hour.
Smart Home

There will be 200 million smart speakers by year’s end, analysts say

A new report by the research and analysis firm Canalys predicts that more than 200 million smart speakers will be engaged by users by the end of 2019, which is a growth of over 82% from last year.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.