Welcome to a world where every device you own is itching to be smarter than you. And you know what? Let ’em. You’ve got enough on your plate without also having to use your hands and eyeballs to check weather, set timers, change music, field emails, navigate streets, etc. etc. etc. Amazon’s central smart device, the Echo, was first released eons ago in 2015, and it has since spawned a range of Echo devices ranging from rather large video screens (the Echo Show) to diminutive speakers (the Echo Dot). If you’re already set up with one these, then your next step into the smartest world is through accessories, like the 15 we have gathered here. Some were made by Amazon for Amazon, and some simply allow you to connect to your Echo device to activate voice control. All are useful if you’re committed to this device-driven world.
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Here’s how you hack anything in your home that needs electricity into being an Alexa-controlled smart device: Put a smart plug between it and the wall. From there, you can command household items to do your bidding (i.e. switch off or on by cutting or restoring their power connection) from near or afar—the coffee maker, a standing lamp, your window AC.
Echo Wall Clock
Arguably, the one talent Alexa best excels at is setting timers. Timers on timers on timers. For the visual learners among us, Amazon made a wall clock that displays the minutes left on your timers by syncing with the timers you set up on your Echo. Obviously, it shows time itself, too.
There are a handful of smart speakers that come with Alexa support built in—including those from Sonos, a speaker heavyweight that makes the fantastic Move and Beam units—but if you already own a speaker that you love that isn’t equipped, you can retrofit it with Echo capabilities by connecting it to this Echo Input (via Bluetooth or 3.5mm stereo jack). And when you don’t want it listening for voice commands, you can turn off the Input’s microphone.
This device is quite simply an Echo for your car. Attached to your vehicle’s vents, it’s most useful for tackling your to-do list while you’re commuting and streaming music options beyond FM radio. If you want navigational help though, don’t rely on Alexa. It’ll connect to Google Maps, Waze, or another map app, but not in an intuitive way, and its own navigational skills are very limited.
Hue White 4-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulbs
Philips has enough Hue gadgets and accessories to warrant its own list, but this is the fundamental one: a starter pack of four smart bulbs so you can start lighting, dimming, and turning off bulbs around your home with Alexs voice or app commands. Hue also makes colored bulbs for more intentional mood lighting.
Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch
Another lighting accessory, this one takes your boring-as-hell unsmart light bulbs and makes them smart-ish by inserting a smart dimmer switch between them and you. That dimmer handles preset modes, commands from afar, and voice control. And if you’re old-school, you can just use the buttons on it when you walk into a room.
Kasa Smart WiFi Power Strip
Do you own six devices that you’d like to upgrade to smart status? How very intelligent of you. And you can turn them all on and off via Alexa when they’re plugged into this strip. Independently of each other, too. Rest assured, it has surge protection.
Onelink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Not the most exciting accessory on this list but certainly the most practical, First Alert’s smart detector monitors your home and lets you monitor it in turn by with status updates through your Alexa-enabled device. If you want more than one detector, you can string them together into a smart network with Alexa as well.
Speak Plus Dash Cam
Garmin’s navigational system is the main attraction here, plus having a camera that records the drive, should anything bad happen and you need video evidence later. God forbid. But with Alexa hitching a ride in the car too, you also have the ability to chatter away to yourself, making lists and reading off errands as you commute.
You might be familiar with the Bose Frames, which are sunglasses equipped with mini speakers that play music and let you converse with your smart assistant (like Alexa). We like Bose Frames. Echo Frames, which are very similar in name and borrow Bose technology, are essentially Bose Frames for prescription lenses. They’re currently in a very early, quazi-prototype stage, however, so Amazon is only selling them to select people.
Peephole Cam Smart Video Doorbell
This is a chunky addition to the front door, but one that lends you an extra level of security. If you have an Echo device with a video screen, you can stream what’s happening on your front step to it, and speak to whoever’s standing there. You can check it remotely. You can get alerts from its motion sensor. And bonus, it’s got an old-fashioned peephole. Because it’s a scary world out there.
Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen
Wield precision control over the temperature in your home with Google’s Nest thermostat. It’ll likely save you on energy costs in the long run by learning when you do and don’t need heat or AC pumping through every room.
Move Smart Bluetooth Speaker
D4 Connected Robot Vacuum
$322.59 (39% off)
Lastly, the ultimate splurge: a robot vacuum to tackle the floor cleaning that you yourself are loathe to do. Neato’s Alexa-controlled model maps out the floor with lasers and rarely bumps into furniture or gets caught in corners. And because it listens to Alexa, you can set it to cleaning while you’re out of the house.
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