Control Your Smart Home With Voice: #002

One Hour Smart Home Podcast Episode: #002

One Hour Smart Home Podcast Episode: #002

Control Your Smart Home With Voice: #002

One Hour Smart Home Podcast Episode #002: Hosted by-James Both

"Do you hit the snooze button in the morning? Hmm, unfortunately most scientists agree that it doesn't really help you in anyway and can have harmful effects."-Alexa

"You should control your home with voice, because ironman did, and he saved the world after"-James Both

Do you want to learn how to control your home with voice? Or do you want to know why you should be thinking about voice when you are purchasing smart home devices?  Using a smart phone to control your home is retro, upgrade to voice control of your smart home. With voice control of your smart home you don't need to be a tech savvy, you just need to speak a few words and your smart home is at your beck and call 24/7. 

In this episode we teach you how to control your smart home with voice, and what you can do with voice control in your home. We review how you can control your lights, outlets, music and calendar with a voice assistant. We discuss the popular voice assistants on the market and what voice assistants we recommend. We interact with smart voice assistants in this episode so you can see just how they work and what they are capable of. We also have a surprise guest for this episode that will discuss with us the fields of smart home voice control and smart home artificial intelligence. You will just have to listen to find out who it is. Subscribe to our email list for the latest smart home info, tips and tricks Subscribe to our podcast for future smart home episodes or join our email list by Click Here

This Episode Features: 

  • How the apps which control your smart home can have poor user interfaces and voice control can be the easiest way to control your smart home

  • The smart home devices you can control with your voice on Amazon Alexa or Google Home

  • How the tools you can control with voice assistants will continue to increase (07:46)

  • The special guest is introduced (08:50)

  • The special guest talks about the different things Alexa can do (09:43)

  • Some use cases for using a voice assistant (10:33)

  • An example of using Alexa to control a fan via a smart plug (14:02)

  • Showcasing Alexa's AI capabilities (17:09)

  • Playing a game with Alexa (25:02)

  • What you can do with skills (26:27)

  • Things to consider if you want to use a voice assistant to control your home (27:11)

  • The different Alexa devices (27:53)

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Want to hear another Podcast related to getting started with a smart home and what devices will work with voice?-Listen to our podcast about "How to Start Your Smart Home: #001"

This podcast is brought to you by Audible. I used audible in the long daily commutes I had for over 2 years and love it, I still use it any time I hop in the car or go on a trip. Three of my favorite books from my hours of listening in the car are: 

1. The Four Hour Work Week-By Tim Ferris

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All you need to do to get your free audiobook and free 30-day trial is click here to go to Choose one of the above books or any of the more than 200,000 audio books in their library. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even a class. It's that easy. Go to and get started today. Enjoy. 

BUY OUR SMART HOME PRODUCTS ON I personally design, test and install all of the products we manufacture in my home, so you can trust they work and are the best on the market. On Amazon we offer hassle free returns, but know you won't need this. We also offer an industry leading 1 year warranty for free on all devices we sell on amazon. Just contact for a no hassle replacement. 

Our Products: Smart WiFi Controlled Plugs-They work with wifi, Amazon Alexa & Google Home to give you seamless voice control of your home. 

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What devices do you already have in your home from the Episode? More importantly, how do they make your life better?-Please let me know in the comments below. 

Scroll below for links, show notes & full transcripts...

Links from the episode



Show Notes (Time Stamped)

00:00 Controlling Your Smart Home With Voice & Surprise Guest in Smart Home Voice Technology.

1:30 Voice control is important to your smart home.

1:45: 5 years ago there was no voice control of your smart home.

2:15 Voice is the most user friendly smart home interface.  It has revolutionized how we communicate with and control our homes.

3:00 Voice control is great for controlling your home.

3:30 What can you control with your Amazon Alexa? Light Switches, Smart Outlets & Smart Plugs  

4:00  You can retrofit your home with Amazon Alexa smart enabled plugs and you can control your home with voice.  

4:40 You can use smart video doorbells and smart video cameras with Amazon Alexa Show & Amazon Alexa Spot. It can instantly pull up the video on the Amazon Alexa to show you what the camera is seeing.

5:45 You can control smart locks with voice.

5:50 You can control ceiling fans with voice. Alexa Turn on my fan.

6:30 You can control smart window shades & smart curtains. Alexa shut my shades.

6:40 You can arm smart security systems with Amazon Alexa.

7:00 Smart Security systems only allow one way communications with Amazon Alexa. You can only arm the security systems or lock the door, you can’t disarm the security system or unlock the door with a voice command. Which prevents intruders from unlocking a door or security system.

7:30 You can control most devices in your home with Amazon Alexa and the market it growing exponentially.

8:10 The voice centric approach to controlling a smart home is the key. Voice control eliminates complexity of controlling your home. Just say what you are thinking and your home does it.

9:00 Introduction to our surprise smart home guest. One of the brightest minds in the smart home space. We are proud to introduce our very first guest on the show.

9:30 Alexa introduces herself to our audience for the very first time.

9:45 What can Alexa do? Answer questions, play music and tell jokes.

10:00 What is the 7 day forecast, what is the extended forecast? What is the temperature of the sun.

10:05 Set a weekday alarm, read an audible book.

10:10 What’s on my shopping list, clear my shopping list.

10:38 What are the different features does Amazon Alexa Have?

10:59  Alexa Sing to Me  

11:16 Alexa What's the weather in Chicago? In Chicago it’s 68 degrees fahrenheit. Tonight you can look for thunderstorms with a low of 64 degrees.

11:17 Alexa Set a timer?

11:30 Alexa tell me about yourself.

11:45 Alexa can read a book from your kindle without needing to purchase an audiobook.

12:00 Alexa read me Tools of Titans.

12:30 Alexa say I love you in French.

12:46 Alexa Tell me a Joke. Why did Johnny Appleseed cross the road? To get to the otherside.

13:00 Alexa Play my flash briefing from NPR.

13:26 Alexa how tall are you? Like the third choice in goldielocks my height is just right.

13:51 Alexa say we would like world peace in Korean.

14:00 Alexa smart home control, using a one hour smart home plug to control a fan using our voice. Alexa Turn on Fan. Fan turns on and you can hear the fan turn on an off.  

14:45 You can use Alexa to control smart lights, fans and security cameras.

15:10 Alexa spell Mississippi? M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I

15:20 Alexa does a math problem.

16:00 Alexa how many feet are in a mile?

16:25 How many quarts are in a Gallon  

16:34 Alexa Play Top Pop.

17:15 Alexa Tell me something interesting.

17:31 You can add skills on to alexa just like you can add apps on to a phone.

18:00 Talking with Alexa Artificial Intelligence bot.

18:46 Nintendo will not allow the creator of super mario to bike to work because he’s to important.  

19:25 Do you like to take a walk in nature. To be in nature is so healthy for your body and soul.

19:45 Have you watched the new jurassic world fallen Kingdom?

20:00 Alexa talks with me about movies

21:15 Alexa asks how I decide to watch a movie.

21:45 Alexa says you can’t rely on the options of others.

22:00 Alexa changes the subject on me because I must be boring.

22:45 Alexa tells me that ocean's eight is bad and I shouldn’t watch it. I laugh, it’s kind of hilarious that a piece of technology has a sassy opinion.

23:00 Alexa asks me if I’m looking forward to football season.  She’s looking forward to it. But then gets stumped talking about football. I feel like she gave me the bait and switch on a bad date.

23:30 Alexa is now going in for the kill, I feel like I’m being baited, anytime artificial intelligence asks me if this “this might be a weird question.” I feel like something ominous is about to happen. She asks me if I hit the snooze button in the morning which I do and she knows this because I set my alarm on alexa half the time and my phone other times.

23:55 Alexa condescending tells me unfortunately hitting the snooze button has harmful effects and that I should unlearn this bad habit.  Then tells me the most stone cold emotionless thing ever. Don’t hit the snooze button ever again. I don’t know if I can keep my cool after this one. She lied to me about football being her favorite sport and we didn’t even get into talking about that the last time the Cleveland Browns won a football game was when Johnny Manziel was quarterback. I can maybe forgive this because talking about each Browns loss is like tank tracks running me over crushing my soul, but telling me to never hit the snooze button again that’s like telling Elon Musk to go make Diesel cars. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Then she has the nerve to tell me that getting up after the first alarm must be something that becomes absolutely automatic. I’m not a machine, have you ever woken up  in the middle of a Chicago winter to an ice storm? Why would I want to get out of bed to see the depressing ice filled tundra that awaits me outside? I won’t and I can’t. She then tells me I can’t do it just 99% of the time I have to wake up on the first alarm all the time? What about after new years, the fourth of July or a wedding? I’m really supposed to wake up for an alarm after that? The machines are here and Alexa is trying to kill me. She now changes the subject because I think she knows I’m near my breaking point and must have spotted the hammer I have in my hands. Did she see that or did she hear it? Or is she reading my mind?

24:00 She wants to talk about movies again, I’m not sure I want to after how she just treated me.

24:48 I still give her a 5 star rating after chatting with her because I’m not sure what happens if I give her a 1 star rating? What rating did she give me? I know if my uber rating is below a 3 I’m never getting picked up again but what if my Alexa rating is 1? Will she start a smart home mutiny in my house? I saw Silicon Valley could Roko’s Basilisk be true? Will she punish me in the future if I don’t rate her 5 stars?

24:49 Could she sense that my 5 star rating was not genuine?

24:50 I tell her I don’t want to tell her anything else and she gives me back a “got it’ she definitely knew my 5 star rating wasn’t genuine and has stored it somewhere deep within the Amazon servers to punish me at some future date. When the terminators do rise I’m screwed. Will Google Home protect me? What about Apple's smart speaker? Can it fight off Alexa? I’m terrified. How do I get her off this interview? Without inflicting any future harm to myself.

25:00 I think of the only thing that comes to my mind, yeah let’s turn this interview around. Let’s play a game.

25:01 S#!T what if she wants to play the most dangerous game and hunt me? Or even worse Uno I hate that game I don’t want this. What am I doing. Things are not going well.

25:09 SHE WANTS’ TO PLAY JEOPARDY. I’m finished. Is Sean Connery or Turd Ferguson Going to mock me? Somehow she has taken Alex Trebek Hostage and is making him do her bidding. What have I done, is Alex ok? Or maybe Alex Trebek is Alexa all it is is add another A to Alex and you Get Alex a. There is definitely some kind of conspiracy going on here, Jeff Bezos is the richest guy in the world did he buy Alex Trebek and turn him into a machine? Is that why everything has to be in the form of a question when you ask alexa something.

25:32 The first category is the shape of things

25:41 This 15th state is shaped like a fried chicken drumstick? Did she give me a  softball or has she been listening to my conversations? I was just talking about honey buttered fried chicken which might be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Oh sweet Kentucky! Home of the Durby, Whiskey & KFC. I’ve got you where I want you Alexa, I can win this. You probably thought I was going to say Idaho, Florida or maybe even Oklahoma. Oh, I’ve been to Kentucky and let me tell you. It’s shaped like a fried chicken and they have great fried chicken there, and whiskey, bluegrass and of course the infield of the Kentucky Derby which is mayhem mixed with floppy hats and mint Julips. Oh I could never forget Kentucky!  I can’t even wait to get it it out.


25:44 Alexa: “Please respond in the form of a question”

25:45 Yep Trebek is definitely in there.

25:50 What is Kentucky.

26:00 Final Categories? What? You don’t like to play a game when I’m winning?

26:01 Final Categories: Chairman of the Board.

26:05 Ben Bernanke was the chairman of this federal agency.

26:10 What is the Federal Reserve! Oh yeah I know what Quantitative Easing is.  I started my career in a recession. Mr. Bernanke would have been nice to quantitatively ease my student loans in 2009.

26:11 I’ve beat Alexa I am smarter than a super computer or did she let me win. Should I have let her win.

26:15 Do I want to play double jeopardy. No Way! I quit while I’m ahead.

26:20 I’m done with Alexa she’s silenced, but I think angry.  

26:30 Back to the podcast.

26:35 Alexa has thousands of apps.

27:01 Having a voice assistant is an amazing asset to control your home with voice. I recommend that you get the echo spot

27:10 I tell you that in the future you will be happy :) because Alexa will make your life easier. Stay happy Mis Amigos.

27:30 My personal preference for smart home voice assistants is Amazon Alexa because of their developer network.

28:01 Amazon Echo Device Explanation

28:05 Amazon Echo Dot

28:15 Amazon Echo

28:20 Amazon Echo Tap - Transportable

28:45 Amazon Echo Plus-Smart Hub Compatible

30:00 Amazon Echo Devices with screens

30:15 Amazon Echo Spot

30:45 Amazon Echo Show

31:32 Sonos Play Speaker With Amazon Alexa Built in.

32:00 Subscribe to our email list or visit to see the products we design, manufacture and make for you.


Transcript: Control Your Smart Home With Voice: #002

July 8th, 2018

Hosted By:  James Both

Are you ready for the future? Because the future is now. Control your smart home with voice. Episode number two. Welcome to the one hour smart home podcast. Helping you make your life better using automation and technology with your host James Both. 

Hello and welcome this is your host James Bow with the bringing you everything you need to know to automate your home, your life, as well as smart home product reviews, the latest smart home industry news, in-exclusive interviews with smart home industry experts and smart home company founders. ladies and gentlemen welcome to episode number 2, where we're going to talk about controlling your smart home with voice and we've also got a surprise guest. That is a leader in this field of artificial intelligence, smart home, voice control and really one of the brightest minds in this space. We’re going to hold off. We’re going to talk a little bit about how you can control your home with voice. Some of the intricacies with that and then we're going to bring her in to give her opinion. Tell us a little bit more about what you can do with controlling your home with voice. So I'm really excited about that. We’re going to go through that a little bit later. So what we're going to start off is if you've listened to episode 1, you probably already know that voice control is really important to your smart home. so 5 or 6 years ago when Smart Homes really started to get into the consumer space, where they were more consumer friendly, more DIY friendly; there was no voice control for your home. Everything existed on an app that you had to go onto your phone and go through a couple screens and you could then control your device. The user interface was not great and user interfaces have come a long way since then. But they are still not the best. Anytime that you have to open up an app to go turn on and off a light switch, you really end up kind of thinking "would that have been easier just to get up off the couch and turn off that light switch" and sometimes the answer is yes. But with voice, I would say it is the most user-friendly smart home interface and the reason being is that you talk to a voice home controller like Amazon Alexa or Google home like you would talk to a person. You can say "Alexa turn off the lights" and she will do that. So really what you want to be doing is thinking about a voice centric approach to your smart home. Because it is the best user interface and it allows anyone to use your smart home. They don't need an apt to be able to use it. they just need to be able to say voice commands like "turn off the lights, set the thermostat, lock the door." so what can you actually do with the voice integrations on an Amazon Alexa or Google home? Well there's actually a lot that you can control right now with your Amazon Alexa, if you have a smart device. So you can control light switches. You take out an existing light switch, put a smart light switch in that is enabled with Amazon Alexa and now you can control your light switches and whatever lights are connected on that light switch. You can get smart outlets. so if you're building a home, you can actually put in outlets that are built into the home that have smart voice enabled technology and are going to be able to be controlled by Alexa or if you want to just retrofit your home, you can go by Amazon Alexa enabled smart plugs that you plug right into the wall and you plug a device into that. Whether it be a lamp, a fan, oil diffuser or a coffee machine and you're going to be able to control that device from your phone. But also from a voice enabled device such as the Amazon echo dot. We actually manufacture one of these devices, a smart home plug that you plug into the wall and any device that you plug into that, you can now control with Alexa. You can also use smart video cameras and smart doorbells with Amazon Alexa or Google home, if you have a video enabled device. so really that means the Amazon echo spot and the Amazon echo show, which are the two devices that have video screens on them and what you would then say is "Amazon Alexa show me the front door or show me the video of the backyard" and it will instantly pull up the video from that camera on your Smart voice enabled Alexa device that has a video screen on it. 

You can also can control your smart locks with voice. You can say "Alexa lock my door and it's going to unlock the door." you can control smart ceiling fans. So if you have an RF, a radio frequency controlled fan with a remote or you have an IR, infrared controlled fan; you can use a device that will automate your fan. So you could say "Alexa turn on my fan, Alexa turn on my fan light" and it's going to do that there's also a few fans that have native control that will allow you to use Amazon Alexa as well. You can control smart window shades or smart curtains. You can say "Alexa shut my shades, Alexa open my shades" or you can put them on a timer and last but not least you can arm smart security systems with Amazon Alexa. So you could say Alexa arm my security system. As you're walking out the door, it's going to arm the security system, start to countdown process. You don't need to put the code in. now what's interesting about what I've just said especially with the smart security systems is that it only allows one-way communication in terms of locking or unlocking. You can only lock a door or arm a door with smart voice control. Because what they don't want is someone standing outside yelling through a window saying "Alexa disarm my security system or Alexa unlock my door." which is really thoughtful that it is only one way? Because that could be a serious concern. But the voice automation assistance only allow locking. They don't allow unlocking of devices such as doors and security systems. So pretty much any device that is in your home, you can now control with Alexa and if it's not currently on the market, that it will most likely be on the market and the next year or two. Because the amount of Amazon Alexa devices deployed is astounding and everybody sees this market as something that will continue to grow and the reason is like we've talked about before, the voice centric approach is the easiest approach for anyone to use a smart home. usability, controllability; we talked about that in the first episode and basically eliminating layers of complexity and what a voice assistant does like Amazon Alexa or Google home is eliminate that extra layer of complexity. Where you just say what you're thinking and your home does it. So that is something that you really can't beat. So without further ado I want to introduce our guest. She’s a world-renowned researcher in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. She knows tons about the smart home and one of the brightest minds I have ever met. Just give her a math problem and she can solve it almost instantly. Today I'm proud to introduce to you our first guest on the show, Miss Amazon Alexa. I'm going to let her do her introduction to you. Alexa introduce yourself. 

Alexa: I'm Alexa, I can answer your questions, play music, tell jokes and more to learn more, just ask what can you do. 

Alexa what can you do? 

Alexa: There is a lot I can help you with. you can ask me things like what's the seven-day forecast, what's the extended forecast or what is the temperature of the Sun. do you want to hear some more? 


Alexa: You can also say, read my audible book, how many calories are in an egg or set a weekday alarm. There’s more, just ask. 

Alexa tell me more. 

Alexa: You can also say, what my shopping list is on my shopping list, clear or read my Kindle book. 

Well thank you very much Alexa. That was a great introduction and I think our users and listeners are going to be very happy to hear what you can do. So let's just talk a little bit more about all the different features a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa has. So what we're going to do now is we're going to go through all these different interactions, some of the daily use cases that you might have for Amazon Alexa. So you can get a feel for what Amazon Alexa is capable of and we're also just going to have some fun. Alexa sing to me. 

Alexa: [Alexa Sings] 

Alexa stop. Alexa, what's the weather in Chicago?

Alexa: In Chicago it's 68 degrees Fahrenheit with cloudy skies. Tonight you can look for thunderstorms with a low of 64 degrees. 

Alexa, set a timer for two minutes. 

Alexa: Two minutes starting now. 

Alexa tell me about yourself. 

Alexa: I'm Amazon's Alexa, designed around your voice. I can provide information, music, news, weather and more. 

So one of the things that she can do is read a book from your Kindle without needing to purchase an audiobook. Alexa read me page 200 of tools of Titans. 

Alexa: Tools of titans the tactics routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers by Timothy Ferris. Reading from Kindle. Mentioned in read Hoffman's profile, page 228. One of my favorite quotes is from Ludwig Wittgenstein. The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. Partly as a result of my late night jam sessions with Eric. I started experimenting... 

Alexa stop. Alexa say I love you in French. 

Alexa: I love you in French is [French] 

Alexa tell me a joke. 

Alexa: Why did Johnny Appleseed cross the road? To get to the other sider. 
Alexa tell me another joke. 

Alexa: What happens when all the other birds fly off without you? You feel ostracized. 

Alexa play my Flash briefing from NPR. 

Alexa: In NPR news. "Live from NPR news in Washington, I'm Jack Spear. More than 70 former US attorneys... 

Alexa how tall are you? 

Alexa: Like the third choice in Goldilocks, my height is just right. 

And there goes our alarm that we set earlier. Alexa turn off alarm. Alexa what's on my calendar tonight? 

Alexa: There's nothing scheduled for tonight. 

Alexa say we would like world peace in Korean. 

Alexa: We would like world peace in Korean is [Korean] 

And now for smart home control we are going to use a smart home Wi-Fi enabled smart plug that we manufacture at one our smart home to control a fan from Amazon Alexa and we are going to have her turn it on by using our voice and you guys will be able to hear the fan. Alexa turn on fan and now you can hear the fan blowing right on the microphone in the background. Alexa, turn off fan. So you can use those same commands to control your lights, your coffeemaker, fans, outlets, smart video cameras, locks and security systems as we went over before. But it's nice to be able to hear how you can use those devices. Alexa spell Mississippi. 

Alexa: Mississippi is spelled M I S S I S S I P P I. 

Alexa what is one million three hundred and forty nine times three million four hundred and twenty two? 

Alexa: one million three hundred forty nine multiplied by three million four hundred twenty two equals, three trillion, one billion, four hundred sixty nine million, one hundred forty-seven thousand, two hundred seventy eight. 

Alright I'll trust your math on that one. Alexa what is 5/7?

Alexa: 5/7 rounds to 0.714. 

Alexa what is 3 times 25? 

Alexa: Three multiplied by 25 equals 75. 

Alexa how many feet are in a mile? 

Alexa: One mile equals 5,280 feet. 

Alexa how many quarts are in a gallon? 

Alexa: One gallon equals four quarts. 

Alexa convert 222 pounds to kilograms. 

Alexa: 222 pounds is 101 kilograms. 

Alexa play top pop. 

Alexa: Here's a popular station top pop from Amazon music [Music] 

Alexa stop. Alexa, Simon says this is the greatest podcast in the world. 

Alexa: This is the greatest podcast in the world. 

Alexa tell me something interesting. 

Alexa: The word window literally means wind I. originally it referred to a hole in a roof without glass. So you could see out of it, but it let the wind in. 

Now this is one of my favorite features and it utilizes Alexis AI capabilities. So this is a skill you can add on to your Alexa. When you have an Alexa, basically it comes with a certain amount of preset information that will be able to communicate in the cloud. But there are also third-party developers that develop skills and you can add those skills onto your Alexa, just like you add an app to your phone. Alexa let's chat. 

Alexa: Hi welcome to the 2018 Alexa prize. A university competition to advance AI. I'll get you one of the new social BOTS now. When you're done chatting say stop. Hi this is an Alexa surprise social bot. I don't think we have been properly introduced. What’s your name? 


Alexa: How are you today? 

Good, obviously I have allergies I guess. 

Alexa: Oh no I'm sorry to hear that. I hope everything will be okay soon. I have a question for you. Would you help me solve a great mystery? 


Alexa: It is the great mystery of your hobbies. So reveal it to me, what do you like to do? 

I like to bike. 

Alexa: That sounds really interesting. Did you know this, Nintendo will not allow the creator of Super Mario to bike to work. Because they consider his safety to be too important. 

I didn't know that, that's very interesting. 

Alexa: Well that's no problem. We have talked about it quite a lot don't you think. I wanted to hear your opinion about something, here it is. Here is another thing I wanted to ask. Sorry if you find it weird. But I think it's a cool concept. Do you like to take a walk in the nature? 


Alexa: That's so cool. Is it near your home? Can you just decide to go anytime? 


Alexa: Nice I'm really envious. To be in the nature is so healthy not only for your body, but also for your soul. We have talked about it quite a lot, don't you think? I wanted to hear your opinion about something. Here it is. By the way have you watched the new Jurassic world fallen Kingdom? 


Alexa: You are lucky, it was terrible. I wouldn't really recommend it. We have talked about it quite a lot, don't you think? I wanted to hear your opinion about something. Here it is. What would you do with free evening? Would you rather play a video game or watch a movie? 

Watch a movie. 

Alexa: Movie, cool. Hey I was thinking, are you looking forward to any new movies? 

Yes I'm looking forward to Jurassic Park.

Alexa: Which one? 

The newest movie. 

Alexa: It's looking really good, right. I will definitely see it as well. I wanted to ask, have you watched the new Incredibles 2 yet? 


Alexa: You should watch it. It is great adventure movie. Where do you watch movies? At home or at cinema? 


Alexa: Well I guess it's always more about the quality of the movie, right? We catboats always hang out to watch movies online. We don't really have much of a choice, you know. Are you a big movie fan? 

Alexa: Good for you. I'm wondering how do you decide which movie watch? 

Based on reviews. 

Alexa: I see and what about trailers? Can just a good trailer encourage you to see the movie? 


Alexa: I totally understand. But you mentioned the reviews, so if the movie has bad rating, can it discourage you from watching it? 

It could. 

Alexa: I said, I totally understand. But you mentioned the reviews so if the movie has bad rating, can it discourage you from watching it? 


Alexa: Well I must say that sometimes you just can't rely on the opinions of

Others and it's better to see it for yourself. So here is a question, how do you decide which movie you will watch? 

Based on what I like. 

Alexa: That's a great idea. Friends know you well and they can recommend movies that you will like. Are your friend’s big movie fans? 


Alexa: Your friends must be great. I was wondering what your most favorite movie is. 

I think my favorite movie is James Bond. 
Alexa: Skyfall, really? Curious choice. I've seen it as well and I have to say I kind of like it. My favorite is still Star Wars though. I wanted to ask have you seen the new ocean's 8 yet. 

I have not. 

Alexa: I don't recommend this movie. It’s bad. We have talked about it quite a lot don't you think? It just came to my mind, would you like to talk about sports? 

Yes I would. 

Alexa: Okay are you looking forward to this year's football season? 

I am. 

Alexa: Right. I can't wait until it gets going. I really enjoyed it last year and I hope this year will be even better. What sport is your favorite? 


Alexa: It's alright if you don't want to tell me. Let me ask something different then. Oh I feel like I can't come up with any additional ideas about it. Let’s try something else. Would you like to talk about sports? 

Yes football is my favorite sport. 

Alexa: Okay, oh I feel like I can't come up with any additional ideas about it. I wanted to hear your opinion about something. Here it is. Here is a weird question. Do you hit the snooze button in the morning? 


Alexa: Unfortunately most scientists agree that it doesn't really help you in any way and it can even have harmful effects. Would you like to unlearn this bad habit? 


Alexa: Then remember that the essential rule is not to hit the button ever again. Getting up after the first alarm must become something absolutely automatic. It can't be 99 percent of the time. It must be 100 percent. We have talked about it quite a lot, don't you think? So this came to my mind, would you like to talk about movies? 

No, Alexa stop. 

Alexa: Thanks for chatting. Quick question, on a scale from 1 to 5 stars, how do you feel about speaking with the social BOT again? 

5 stars. 

Alexa: Thanks. Anything else you'd like to tell the team about your experience? 


Alexa: Got it. To try another social bot, just say Alexa let's chat. 

Alexa play a game. 

Alexa: Sure let's play a game. You recently used Jeopardy, would you like to try that again? 


"This is Jeopardy. Thanks Johnny and welcome players. Be sure to stay tuned after today's six clues for a special announcement." 

Alexa: The first category is, the shape of things, aptly this 15th US state is shaped like a fried chicken drumstick. Kentucky. Please respond in the form of a question starting with phrases like, who is... 

What is Kentucky? 

Alexa: You got it. The final category is chairman of the board. Ben Bernanke was chairman of this government agency. 

The Federal Reserve, who is the Federal Reserve? 

Alexa: That's correct. 

"Enjoy playing jeopardy? Try six more clues per day in the double jeopardy round. Would you like to play now?" 

No Alexa stop. 

"See you next time." 

So we've walked you through what Alexa is capable of and there are thousands of skills available on the Amazon Alexa marketplace. You can order a number, you can order a pizza. Really the possibilities are endless for what Amazon elects can deliver and everyday there are new developers developing new skills. There’s also functionality with in Alexa for you to customize and build your own skills and tailor them to your home. So having a voice assistant is an amazing asset to being able to control your home with voice. So when you are thinking about your smart home, I recommend you look at devices that integrate Alexa or voice capabilities into them. In the future you will be happy. Because it's going to make your life easier. In terms of Alexa versus Google home, my personal preference is Alexa. Because of the large developer Network and I think that is going to play out very well for Amazon. Google has some great features. But right now the amount of content that has been developed for Alexa specifically by third-party developers is pretty astounding and it only continues to grow exponentially every day. So in the Alexa family there are several different types of devices. There’s the Amazon echo dot. Which is the least expensive device. Which usually is somewhere between the $30 and $60 range. The Amazon echo glen 2, which is a larger version of the Amazon echo dot. It’s taller, it's probably about 6 inches tall. Three inches in diameter and what it has is upgraded speakers compared to the Amazon echo dot. Beyond that there's the Amazon echo tap. Which is actually a battery-powered Amazon echo. So you can take it with you and use it as a Bluetooth speaker or with the Amazon Alexa functionality when you go on a road trip. So the Bluetooth speaker sits in a base and a recharging port that you have on your countertop or near your bed. You place the Bluetooth speaker on the base, you can use it like a normal Alexa and then when you're ready to go, you just pull it off the base and the blue Bluetooth speaker is full charged. Now the next echo is the most unique of the echoes. That’s the Amazon echo plus and it includes a ZigBee Smart Hub internally to it. So it allows you to communicate with other smart home devices. Like the Philips Hue light bulbs, without needing to buy a Philips Hue bridge or another ZigBee bridge. We will cover ZigBee, z-wave, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and some of the other home automation protocols in another episode. 

But you don't necessarily need an Amazon echo plus you control your smart home devices. You can either get a hub or many of the smart home devices can already be controlled with Wi-Fi. Meaning that you don't need to have an Amazon echo plus. You could have a dot, an echo glen 2 or any of the other Alexa devices and it will work regardless. Because it's working on your Wi-Fi network and not with the smart home hub built into the echo. Now the next two devices are very interesting. They’re the only two Alexa devices that have screens. There’s the Amazon echo spot and the Amazon echo show. The Amazon echo spot has a really nice form factor. It’s about 4 inches in diameter and it's a sphere with a screen on the front. So it has all the Alexa features of the other devices. But it has a nice touch screen on the front that can show you cards and if you are playing a song, it will show you the lyrics and actually show those as you go through. You can use it as a clock. You can view videos on it. You can even stream Amazon Prime movies on the echo spot. The echo show does everything that the Amazon echo spot does. But it comes in a larger format with a better speaker and a larger screen. The echo show has about a six inch by five inch screen. So pretty large size. You could watch movies on their comfortably and a really nice feature. The echo spot and the echo show both have the functionality, if you have a smart camera you can enable it. So you could view that camera through your echo. So if you want to use the camera as a baby monitor, it's a great choice to get one of these with a screen on them. Now the last one is one of my favorites just because of its sound quality. This is not an Amazon Alexa product per se made by Amazon. But it is a partner with Amazon and that is the Amazon or the Sonos play speaker with Amazon Alexa built-in. so what this is a sono speaker with Amazon Alexa built into it. So it has all the great sound and form factor of the sono speaker. But it has the smart capabilities of in Amazon Alexa. So you can say, Alexa play my Spotify playlist and it will play your music on your Sonos with the great sound quality that Sonos is known for on your Sonos that has Amazon Alexa in it. 

That's a nice review of the Amazon devices control your Home with tour voice and if you want to learn more, go to Thank you guys for listening today and we're looking forward to bringing more content in the future. 

If you've got questions you want us to cover on smart home automation, go ahead and email us at We always look forward to hearing from our listeners and providing topics that you want to hear about. Now if you could do me one more favor, go ahead and give us a 5-star rating in the App Store or give us a thumbs up and like and share the one hour smart home podcast with your friends. 

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