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Alexa isn't just for Christmas

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Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« on: January 04, 2017, 10:33:03 am »
I normally love technology and embrace the latest and greatest, but alexa or Google home never really sparked an interest, I don't know why. Having had the echo for Christmas I now find myself with a device that I have no apparent need or excitement for, I'm sure I'll learn to love it but without any smart home systems it seems like a glorified news reader at the moment. I want to try replacing my lights with the alexa compatible WiFi bulbs, I see the Philips hue ones talked about a lot but do I need the bridge too as it seems all I'm doing is adding more hardware?

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 12:15:34 pm »
Yes, you need the bridge for Philips Hue lamps, but it's a tiny little thing. It has to be plugged into your router directly with a network cable which is supplied. I wouldn't like to be without mine now, it's so convenient!

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 12:34:47 pm »
The Hue bridge and bulbs are a good choice if you're sure the only things you're going to want to control are lights (and even then only the types of lights that available from Philips as part of the Hue line).  But if you want to do more then you're going to want a more capable multi-function hub, like SmartThings, Wink, etc.  While there are quite a few devices that are WiFi based, and therefor do not need a local hub to control them, having a hub that can control them AND devices based on the popular and non-proprietary home automation protocols Zigbee and Z-Wave gives you far more options and flexibility, as well as a single central point of control for a multi-vendor automation environment.

Offline Jez

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 04:55:42 am »
You could use Alexa to perform multiple cross search-engine queries returning whatever is of interest to you, video, images, text etc Check it out: https://youtu.be/X-dOkuFGWSc or www.addtopad.com

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 05:44:39 am »
what does your spam have to do with this thread

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 02:40:16 pm »
Having had the echo for Christmas I now find myself with a device that I have no apparent need or excitement for, I'm sure I'll learn to love it but without any smart home systems it seems like a glorified news reader at the moment.
The TP-Link smart plug, two versions, doesn't require a bridge.

Alarms and timers are handy, as is the shopping list. The number of skills will keep increasing, the problem is discovering ones that could be useful to you.

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 04:07:29 pm »
No everyone sees value in the Alexa platform so no need to waste our time or money  trying to convert them.  Gave two Dots to relatives for Xmas and they promptly gave them to the two grandsons who like to ask Alexa stupid questions.  To heck with the parents!

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 06:30:46 pm »
No everyone sees value in the Alexa platform so no need to waste our time or money  trying to convert them.  Gave two Dots to relatives for Xmas and they promptly gave them to the two grandsons who like to ask Alexa stupid questions.  To heck with the parents!

I recently read an article about amazon echo and how people buy the echo then get bored with it.  I guess either they do not realized the full potential or don't want to purchase additional features for practical useage. 

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 06:47:08 pm »
Or, they think Apple products are the only game in town; (like our relatives I gave Dots to! )

Same story for almost any product.  Nation is full of Short Attention Span Theater fans.

Offline PFR

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 08:13:01 pm »
Although we don't use (yet) any of the smart capability of our Dots, we love them. I've listened to more varieties of music in these last 2 months since we've had them than I had, probably in the last 5 years. We use them now as our alarm clocks, kitchen timers, calendars and use the shopping list function constantly.
And my wife (a teacher) always asks Alexa for a joke in the morning to repeat to her form group.

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 08:59:45 pm »
Dip your toes into to smart things that are easy, useful and affordable; start with "smart plug" devices to turn things on and off, like lamps, by using your cell phone and even Alexa.