Category Archives: Voice Assistants

Google Home Assistant Review, Unboxing, DIY Setup

The Google Home Assistant is the latest voice assistant to hit the market. Today we are going to do an unboxing, setup and review of this cool new tech. Plus, we will compare it to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. And then, we’ll round it out with a few live tests centered on home automation and voice control.

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Google Home Assistant

Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start with, “Ok Google”.

Why Do I Need an Amazon Echo Dot for My Smart Home

The Amazon Echo has been rapidly gaining in popularity and it’s hard to ignore all the buzz. If you’re like a lot of people that I talk to, you wondering if it’s the right thing for you. The fact is, if you don’t have an Echo, it may be a bit difficult to think about what you would do with one.

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The New Amazon Echo Dot (Gen 2) Setup & Review – Smarthome & Bluetooth & Wink Hub Integration

The Amazon Echo Dot version 2 point 0 has just been released. Today we are going to add three of them into my house and see how these little guys can improve my Alexa experience. Stay tuned.

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All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Black


New From: $49.99 USD In Stock

  • Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more
  • Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
  • Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others
  • Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
  • Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, and more
  • Amazon Echo is not required to use Echo Dot

Connect Wink, Amazon Echo & GE Outdoor Smart Switch

The DIY Smart Home Guy is adding a new water feature. In this episode we plan to hook this into our Wink smart home system and then into our Amazon Echo. To do this we will add a second GE Outdoor Zwave Smart Switch (GE 12720). We already have a fountain in the back yard. Our goal is to allow for independent control of each water feature as well as group control via the Echo.

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Connect Amazon Alexa to your Wink Smart Hub

Today we are going to talk about how you connect your Amazon Echo into a Wink Hub. You can connect the Echo to nearly any smart home hub, but since I have a Wink, we will be using that for the demonstration. After we go through the connection and the setup, we will do some demonstrations of how I have the device connected into my smart home by giving some simple commands. My wife will even give it a try with her Thai accent. You’ll be happy to know that my wife and Alexa get along just fine.

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Amazon Echo Out-of-the-Box Review

Today we are going to do a box opening review of the Amazon Echo. Pretty excited about this since I’ve been waiting for it for a while now. Very curious to see how it looks coming out of the box and how easy it is to hook into my home automation system. The main reason that I bought the Amazon Echo is that I wanted to have the voice automation along with my smart home. After reading a lot of review and talking to some people that have Alexa, I thought it would be good for me to get my hands on one.

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Amazon Echo


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Amazon Echo – Black


Features: Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, Introducing Alexa calling and messaging, a new way to be together with family and friends. Just ask Alexa to call or message anyone with an Echo, Echo Dot, or the Alexa App., Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio, Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing, Answers questions, reads the news, reports traffic and weather, reads audiobooks from Audible, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service, Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others, Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, DISH, and more

What is AMAZON ECHO?

Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.

Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo device you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).

Voice Control YOUR MUSIC

Amazon Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited.

Amazon Echo also provides hands-free voice control to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like iTunes from your phone or tablet. Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill any room with immersive sound.

Far-field Voice Recognition

Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With far-field voice recognition, Echo can hear you ask a question from any direction—even while playing music.

When you want to use Echo, simply say the wake word, “Alexa,” and Echo lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly.

Always Getting Smarter

Alexa—the brain behind Echo—is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.

Just in the last few months we’ve added local search from Yelp, movie showtimes, Samsung SmartThings support, Google Calendar, Audible audiobooks, text-to-speech for Kindle eBooks, and over 100 new skills from third-party developers.

Echo has Skills

Skills add even more capabilities like ordering a pizza from Domino’s, requesting a ride from Uber, opening your garage with Garageio, and more. Enabling skills lets your Echo do even more—simply discover and enable the skills you want to use in the Alexa App.

New skills are being added all the time. You can also see ratings and reviews to learn what other customers are saying about skills in the Alexa App.

Control Your Smart Home

Use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or space heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger.

Echo works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, thermostats, and more from WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, Wink, and more.

Do More with the Alexa App

With the free Alexa App on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily setup and manage your Echo.

Use the Alexa App to connect services you already use like Spotify, Pandora, and Google Calendar. Setup your smart home devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, ecobee, and more. See what books are available to read from your Kindle and Audible libraries. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover and enable third-party skills.

List Price: $179.99 USD
New From: $179.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.