In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon is running a set of "Alexa Deals" that can only be accessed by Prime members via voice commands given to Alexa. Most of the offers are pretty pedestrian, things like gum, snacks, and batteries, but there are a few good ones our readers might enjoy. If you are interested in home automation, you can pick up a ton of stuff, like Philips Hue starter kit, smart plugs, a wireless Lutron starter kit, a touchscreen Schlage deadbolt, and more.
Prime Day is underway at Amazon and there are great deals to be had on plenty of gadgets and accessories for the nerdiest of folks. We've already covered deals on phones/tablets/Chromebooks, but what if you're more interested in making your home a little smarter? Well, fret not, because I've scoured the discounts and used my search-fu skills to find the best deals for the smart home noobs and veterans alike, deals that are especially catered for you, the Android user.
But before I start with my list, let me remind you of the couple of deals we've already covered that are relevant in a smart home setting: the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are at an all-time low of $90 and $35 ($90 and $15 off, respectively), and the NVIDIA Shield TV is $20 off (remember that it's still slated to get SmartThings Hub integration and the SPOT for a cheap add-on Google Home-like experience).
Are you looking to make your home more... smart? All those WiFi-connected lights, appliances, and speakers can easily make a dent in your wallet. But right now, you can grab a pack of three LED color Philips Hue lights, with the wireless bridge included, for just $124.99 manufacturer-refurbished.
Google is constantly adding and removing products to and from the Google Store. With the speed that tech moves along at and the amount of products that the store carries, having to dump older or slower-selling products is inevitable. Earlier today, the LG Watch Style and Sport went up for sale (the Sport is already out of stock, by the way); now, the Nixon The Mission smartwatch and Philips Hue Color A19 Starter Kit, which made their Google Store debuts around four months ago, have been axed.
The Google OnHub was launched one year ago with a lot of implicit promises about smart home functionality. We never saw any of that materialize, though the router has gotten more capable. Now there's finally some smart home integration happening in the form of a Philips Hue partnership. Oh hey, guess what still doesn't work. Yep, the USB port.
All of these "smart" devices in our lives sure are creating a mess for us. We have to remember to charge them and take the time to set them up properly, every gadget has its own app on our phone, and none of them seem to be able to communicate effortlessly with each other unless they come from the same manufacturer, and even then... That's where Yonomi comes into the picture.
With one app, Yonomi aims to solve the mess that is our connected life. It integrates with some of the big players out there, like Nest, Jawbone, Sonos, Philips Hue, and Belkin WeMo, as well as your Android phone or tablet.
Philips hue lights are already pretty cool. People can control these bulbs, which come in various colors and sizes, using a phone or tablet. That alone makes the product convenient and great for showing off. But at the end of the day, merely turning lights on and off with a mobile device and changing their colors ranks a 4, maybe 5, on the my-friend-is-a-wizard scale. To really impress people, give the Huey Android app a download, then sit guests down in front of a TV and blow their minds.
This handy piece of software links Philips hue lights up with the action taking place on-screen.
Philips has been slowly adding various bulbs to its Hue lineup over the last several months, bringing even more smartphone-controlled lighting scenarios to users. The entire concept of Hue is freakin' awesome as it is – lights that can change to any color or, um, hue on the fly – so any addition to the family is really just the icing on the cake.
Today, the company is announcing three new products to its hue line: 3D-printed luminaries, lux, and tap. The names aren't all that explanatory, here's a breakdown of each.
3D-printed luminaries: These are essentially decorative lights with hue-compatibility, so they look good aesthetically, and have the power of a hue bulb.
Smartphone-controlled lighting. That is one of the true signs that the future is now, ladies and gentlemen. And Philips is leading the charge with its [slightly expensive] Hue light bulbs. So, how do these bad boys work? Let's cut to video:
It's pretty simple, actually. So, when you buy a Hue starter pack (... $200), you get three light bulbs, and a wireless bridge device. The bridge, acting as a, well, bridge, links the light bulbs to your existing wireless router. The bulbs communicate with the bridge using ZigBee Light Link (an open, low-power Wi-Fi standard), and the bridge then communicates with your wireless network, which then communicates with your Android phone or tablet.