Feeling cold? Nest and Amazon Echo will turn up the heat

Alexa Prime Day Deal
“Alexa, help me out, it’s freezing in here.” That’s something you might say to Amazon Echo voice assistant Alexa to raise the house temperature sometime in the near future. In a recent blog post, Google-owned Nest writes that it is collaborating with Amazon and that the results of this will go live in a few weeks.

First to arrive is the ability to control your Nest-enabled thermostats with your voice. According to the post, that won’t be everything though. Alexa can be updated to learn new skills, so following the initial release of this feature, you’ll eventually be able to ask about the temperature and humidity, and adjust to your preference. You’ll also be able to tell Alexa that you’re leaving home, which supposedly would allow it to lower the temperature and reduce power consumption. A pretty neat feature.

If you’ve also already made use of IFTTT, which basically allows you to automate your Internet-of-Things (IoT) life via your phone, you’ll have access to over 50 recipes (short for automated IoT sequences). By adding that functionality, you may customize your commands into something like “good morning” to raise the temperature. Since last month, Alexa has also supported Vivint, a rival to Nest’s smart home business.

Amazon’s voice assistant has grown from the basic 13 skills like playing Amazon Music and setting timers. In addition, Alexa has been supplied with over 300 skills by third party developers.

Considering the growth and increasingly impressive feature list of Echo, it’s not hard to see where the company is heading. With already impressive voice recognition system and integration with several other IoT services, Amazon is most likely trying to take a leading position in connecting different services and be a leading player among voice assistants. Provided the company gets the right momentum, and thus incentivizes more third-party developers to support the platform, it will have a powerful position among smart devices.

Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Product Review

Making a smart home can be a DIY job, but security should be left to the pros

Sure, you can DIY a smart home system, but when it comes to security, you should seriously consider professional monitoring and service. That’s where Vivint comes in. Is it worth the lofty price?
Deals

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

You can play NPR’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ on your smart speaker

You can play "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Amazon Echo speakers or Google Home devices with the new Wait Wait Quiz. It's hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis and will be updated every week with new questions.