Alexa, Google Assistant anchor iHome’s latest lineup of smart alarm clocks

The company iHome has come a long way since it first introduced its iconic iPod-compatible alarm clock. The company, which was on hand at this year’s CES, introduced a new lineup of smart alarm clocks, speakers, and therapeutic devices designed to control your smart home and ease you into sleep.

First is the Alexa-integrated iAVS16 alarm clock, which aims to bring all the conveniences of Amazon’s popular voice command system to your bedside table.

Though the new smart speaker looks much like a traditional clock radio — a black rectangle with a backlit LCD display and physical snooze/music control buttons on top — the added Alexa integration should alleviate all the woes associated with those less technological devices. Everything from setting daily alarms to checking the weather can now be accomplished via voice control rather than by messing with pesky buttons and hard-to-remember controls.

The iAVS16 supports popular music streaming services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, and can be used to control any of iHome’s other SmartPlug products. It also features USB ports for charging your smartphones and other devices without the need for extra plugs.

“This year, iHome has focused on growing its Alexa smart home offerings and integrating artificial intelligence technologies into products across all categories, including smart plugs,” said iHome’s Director of Product and Business Development Gary Schultz in a press release. “We’re especially proud of the iAVS16 because it’s unlike anything else out there and uniquely pays tribute to the product line that made iHome a household name. By combining iHome’s expertise in creating feature-rich bedside music systems with Alexa, we’ve created a truly unique product that elegantly wraps an alarm clock, a powerful music system, USB charging, and easy-to-use Alexa voice control into an attractive and compact form factor that fits perfectly on a nightstand, kitchen counter, and more.”

Those interested in testing out Alexa for the first time will likely find a very useful product in the iAVS16, as the smart speaker’s voice-controlled alarm, music playback, and weather features are all things that will come in handy when waking up and getting dressed each morning.

The iAVS16 isn’t the only iHome device to have found its way onto the showroom floor of CES 2018.

The company used the convention as an opportunity to announce the forthcoming iGV1, a bedside alarm clock powered by Google Assistant. The fabric-covered device features a dimmable display and functions much like iHome’s Alexa-equipped offering, meaning it can play music, turn off your lights, and perform all the usual tasks oft-associated with today’s digital assistants. It’s also compatible with iHome’s SmartPlug devices, features a physical snooze button, and supports Google Cast technology. The USB charging port is also a plus, one that will allow you to charge your phone while you slumber.

While at CES, we also spoke to Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep specialist who worked with the iHome team to develop the two newest devices within the company’s Zenergy line. The first device, the iZM100, is a flameless candle that can be outfitted with subtle lighting and a built-in breathing coach, which encourages a common breathing technique designed to help you fall asleep faster. The second device, the iZABT50, is a Bluetooth speaker that uses a combination of light, sound, and aromatherapy to create a calming atmosphere.

“Having the right sleep environment can actually be very helpful in allowing people to fall asleep easier and stay asleep easier,” said Breus. “That’s how we came about [putting together the Zenergy line].”

Prices and availability vary across the iHome lineup. The Alexa-equipped iAVS16 will cost $150 at launch, and will soon hit Amazon’s online store, as well as other home retailers across the United States. The Assistant-enabled iGV1 will launch for $140 in the second half of the year. The iZM100 and iZABT50 are available now and retail for $70 and $100, respectively.

For more information, check out the company’s website.

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