Voice assistants have changed our lives, making things easier. A couple of years ago, voice assistants were able to answer a few questions only. Today, they have become increasingly important, especially in how we interact with smart home devices.
In mid-2014 Amazon bundled its voice assistant Alexa, into a single device, the Echo. Since its public release, Amazon has sold hundreds of millions of Echo devices. Today, Alexa has more than 70,000 skills and can integrate with thousands of third party products such as smart bulbs, wireless speakers, smart displays, wire-free camera systems, and other smart home devices.
Alexa Joins Black Lives Matter
Once unbiased sources of information designed to make your life easier, digital assistants are now taking a political stand. Siri, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon’s digital assistants have all been re-programmed to voice support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ask your digital assistant questions like “Do Black lives matter?” or “Do all lives matter?” and you’ll get pro-Black Lives Matter answers.
For instance when Alexa is asked “Do All Lives Matter?” she says: “All lives matter, however black lives are dispropotionately in danger in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.” She then recommends users visit the Black Lives Matter website for more information.
If you ask Google “Do Black Lives Matter?” Google answers: “Black lives matter. Black people deserve the same freedoms afforded to everyone in this country, and recognizing the injustice they face is the step towards fixing it.”
If you ask Microsoft’s Cortana “Do Black Lives Matter?” she responds with, “Yes. And Black Lives Matter is an important movement that’s shaping a national conversation about racism.”
The Best Amazon Alexa Devices
To help you learn find the best Amazon Alexa devices, we have compiled a list of the top rated Alexa compatible devices you can buy on Amazon.
Arlo Pro 3 – Wire-Free Security 2 Camera System
The Arlo Pro 3 – Wire-Free Security 2 Camera System is a great security system. Although it has a $450 price tag, the camera system can record and stream videos at 2K quality. It has a built-in siren that stops crime before it happens plus 12X zoom and color night vision.
100% wire-free, you can place it anywhere. No wiring hassles or cords. The camera system is weatherproof and can withstand rain or the UV rays of the sun. As a high-end smart camera, it works with Echo smart displays.
Thanks to its long-lasting rechargeable batteries, you are assured of uninterrupted security. It features full-duplex two-way audio, meaning you can listen and talk back through the built-in speaker and mic right from your smartphone.
The all-new Ecobee SmartThermostat takes your home comfort to new heights. It can detect both occupancy and temperature for further savings and smarter comfort. Now with improved battery life (up to 5 years), you can save up to 23% in annual energy costs. As such, you get to reduce your environmental impact.
As the smartphone of thermostats, it has a smart sensor that manages both hot and cold spots. It works with the Eco+ schedule assistant to match your thermostat schedule supercharging your energy savings.
Compatible with Alexa, you can enhance your comfort indoors with voice commands. In fact, you can play music on Spotify and control your smart home with voice commands only.
Amazon Echo Show 8
As one of Amazon’s latest displays, the Amazon Echo Show 8 features an eight-inch HD screen and stereo sound. Compatible with Alexa, the smart voice assistant can show you many things. For example, you can ask Alexa to show you movies, TV shows, news, and trailers. You can also listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and radio stations.
Want to chat with family and friends? Alexa can help you too. The Amazon Echo Show 8 can connect you with family and friends via messaging and video calling. Apart from keeping in touch with family and friends, you can control your smart home using voice commands.
Just ask Alexa to adjust your thermostat, to show you the security cameras or to control the lights. Alternatively, you can manage your smart home via the easy to use touch display. To protect your privacy, disable the camera and microphones with a single click.
Peephole Cam from Ring
The Peephole Cam by Ring is one of the best Alexa compatible devices for your home. With a 1080p HD video doorbell, you can speak, hear and see your visitors from the comfort of your home. Designed to replace the traditional peephole, it can send alerts to your smartphone, tablet, and PC.
In fact, it’s able to send alerts when visitors knock on your door, when they trigger motion sensors or press the doorbell. Easy to install, you can replace your old peephole in minutes. No drilling or wiring required.
You can connect the Peephole Cam with Alexa to receive alerts when the device detects motion outside your door. To talk with your visitors via Echo devices, simply say, “Alexa, talk to the front door.” The Peephole Cam has adjustable motion detection. As such, you can adjust the built-in motion sensors to detect and focus on what’s important. To access stored videos, you’ll need a Ring Protect subscription.
Philips Hue Lights
High quality and energy-efficient, the Philips Hue lights work with Alexa for voice control. But, to have the full Hue experience, you need a Philips Hue Hub and an Alexa device.
Once you connect to the smart hub, you can turn on/off the smart lights, dim to the desired levels, and even set schedules. Easy to install, simply screw all the bulbs from the four-pack starter kit into your desired location.
Download the Hue mobile app and control overhead lights from the comfort of your couch. Want to expand your smart lighting system? Buy extra accessories such as the Hue dimmer switch or Hue motion sensor.
Amazon Echo Flex
You can make your smart home a little smarter with the Amazon Echo Flex. As a plug-in smart speaker, it allows you to give Alexa commands from any location in your home. Since Alexa is happy to help, the intelligent assistant can manage your day, check weather and traffic updates.
You can also control the lights, lock doors, adjust your smart thermostat, and control other smart devices. It comes with a built-in USB port for recharging your smartphone or another accessory. To make announcements, connect the Amazon Echo Flex with a compatible Echo device
Not only that. You can make hands free calls from any room in your home. The Amazon Echo Flex has built-in privacy controls. For example, you can turn off and disconnect the microphone.
Amazon Echo Dot
As one of the best Amazon Alexa devices, the Echo Dot is also one of the most popular smart speakers. Available with fabric design, its compact and fits in small spaces with ease. With improved speaker quality, you can enjoy rich sound.
If you pair the Echo Dot with a second Echo Dot, you can experience stereo sound at its best. To voice control music, do so by giving Alexa voice commands. As such, you can stream music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and Apple Music, among others.
Amazon Echo Studio
Experience the best of 3D music with Amazon Echo Studio. With five speakers, the Echo Studio produces powerful bass, crisp highs, and dynamic midrange. Combined with Dolby Atmos technology, you get to experience depth and clarity.
The Echo Studio is compatible with Alexa, which means you can control your music using voice commands. Whether you are streaming music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, or Tidal, you can select your favorite songs and artists by voice command.
With a built-in smart hub, Alexa can control other smart devices in your home, such as Zigbee devices. When you start the Echo Studio, it automatically senses the acoustics in the room. To ensure you have the best experience, it fine-tunes music playback.
Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Smart Security Camera
Keep your family safe and have peace of mind with the Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Smart Security Camera. As a versatile wire-free camera system, it features two-way audio. As such, you can speak and listen to your visitors from the comfort of your couch.
It has night vision and motion detection, which keeps you alert of any presence at the door 24/7. Easy to install, you can mount or place it inside or outside for complete protection. Although it has no monthly contracts, buyers need to create an account on the Blink App.
The Blink XT2 Outdoor/Indoor Smart Security Camera is a three-camera kit with a free Amazon Echo Dot with fabric design. You can have a conversation with visitors at the door and also control other smart devices in your home.
The Benefits Of Alexa Enabled Devices
Alexa is always happy to help by making your life more comfortable at home. The smart assistant can create calendar events, reminders, set timers, check the news, traffic, and weather updates. Also, you can ask for sports scores, restaurant hours, and movie showtimes. If you’re worried about being recorded, to enhance your privacy, Amazon has introduced the “Alexa, delete everything I said today” voice command. Now, you can delete your transcripts each day.