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amazon alexa

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Harmony Express is a $250 minimal universal remote with built-in Alexa

Logitech's Harmony are the best universal remotes out there, even if their user-friendliness is questionable. It's been nearly four years since the Elite was announced, and it shows. User interfaces have evolved and so has the smart home, yet the Elite's remote and app both feel stuck in the past. So it only made sense that Logitech would announce a new remote: enter the Express.

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Soma smart shades review: Retrofitting your blinds for Google Assistant requires many compromises

Automating the light in your home is easy if you only consider getting some smart bulbs or switches or plugs. But once it comes to natural light, the equation gets a bit more complicated. Smart shades/blinds/curtains aren't as ubiquitous, and the current solutions aren't ideal. You either have to replace your entire shades (Ikea, Lutron), the motor (Neo Smart Blinds), or if you're not feeling particularly adventurous, you can try to retrofit your existing window coverings.

The solution for that is both a little genius and ridiculous: there's a cord to control your shades, so how about adding a motor that just pulls on that cord instead of you?

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Choose Your Own Adventure books enter the world of voice AI with new Amazon Alexa skill

Netflix's recent interactive film Bandersnatch received mostly mixed reviews, but was wholly successful in driving interest in Choose Your Own Adventure-style (CYOA) stories. That was both a boon and a frustration to Chooseco, the owner of the CYOA registered trademark and publisher of the famous book series of the same name. There was finally a resurgence of interest in CYOA stories, but the company didn't feel it was getting proper recognition. After filing a lawsuit with Netflix, Chooseco has now taken its first step into taking advantage of its newfound popularity in the digital age with a CYOA Alexa skill. 

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Get two TP-Link smart bulbs for $25 with coupon code at Office Depot

If you're looking for inexpensive smart lighting for your home, this buy-one-get-one-free offer from Office Depot for TP-Link A19 smart bulbs might be just the thing. The bulbs can't change color, but they are dimmable and — most importantly — it'll only cost you $25 to get two with this coupon code.

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This Google Home and Amazon Echo hack lets you change your voice AI hotword — but it's far from elegant

Google and Amazon are both constantly improving the capabilities of their voice AIs, but there are some issues that tech giants have little incentive to fix. For instance, from a branding standpoint it makes no sense to let people change their assistant hotword from "Okay Google" or "Alexa" to anything else - even if that's what users want (and it definitely, definitely is). It's this consumer desire, along with the issue of user privacy, that prompted designers Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen to create a Google Home/Amazon Echo hack called Project Alias.

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Get an Amazon Echo Input for $20 ($15 off) and add Alexa smarts to your dumb speakers

Smart speakers have exploded over the past couple of years, and for good reason. In addition to helping out with certain tasks, they're a convenient way to consume audio media. You probably have some dumb speakers around that you're not quite ready to let go of, though, and the Echo Input can help you squeeze more life out of them. Normally $34.99, it's currently on sale for $19.99.

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Every product with Amazon Alexa announced at CES 2019

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This was a massive year for Google Assistant announcements at CES, but Amazon Alexa had its fair share of new integrations as well - often debuting in the same product. There were so many new Alexa integrations, in fact, that the best way to comprehensively cover them is one big roundup. 

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Samsung's 2019 QLED TVs will be compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa

Samsung's CES 2019 motto appears to be more openness. After the company announced that its 2019 Smart TVs will support Apple's AirPlay 2 and launch the iTunes Movies & TV Shows service, it has also revealed that its QLED 2019 models will be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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D-Link announces 5G home router plus Google Assistant-compatible water sensor and smart plugs

CES 2019 doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but you wouldn't know it if you checked the tech news today. Announcements have been falling left and right, and we almost missed this one from D-Link, which slipped by on Friday. The company is expanding its smart home offerings and introducing a new 5G home router.

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LG announces its 2019 TV line-up: Google Assistant, Alexa, HDMI 2.1, and two 8K models

CES officially kicks off next week, but if there's anything we know about LG, it's that the company will trickle down 90% of its announcements before the show even begins. We've already seen its three new Google Assistant-powered soundbars and now we're learning about six new TV series for its 2019 line-up, all of which will also have the Google Assistant built in.

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