The week in smart home: Amazon's back to school sale is on and more

Amazon's got a big sale, plus more smart home news

The week in smart home: Amazon's Echo sale
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It's been a bit of a recovery week since we learned that the Bixby-powered Samsung Galaxy Home is official, but that doesn't mean that nothing happened in the world of smart home.

In fact, we learned that Alexa and Cortana's ability to play nice with each other is now (mostly) live. These two can now interact with each other via a public access test. Google is also set to make its very own Smart Display, joining the likes of Lenovo and the rest. Plus, that fancy GLAS thermostat is getting Alexa and Google Assistant support.

That's not all that happened this week though. Read on.

Amazon's back to school sale

The week in smart home: Amazon's back to school sale is on and more

It's back to school season, which means that there are a ton of deals to be had on all sorts of things. Amazon is taking the opportunity to discount its entire line of Echo devices. Well, except for Toshiba's Fire TV, Echo Look and Echo Spot.

Here's a quick rundown of the deals:

Echo + Echo Dot two pack - $104.98 (save $45) | Amazon
Echo 2nd generation - $84.99 (save $15) | Amazon
Echo Plus - $99.99 (save $50) | Amazon
Echo Dot - $39.99 (save $10) | Amazon
Echo Dot Kids - $69.99 (save $10) | Amazon
Echo Show - $129.99 (save $100) | Amazon
Fire TV Cube - $89.99 (save $30) |

These deals are only available in the US Amazon store.

1/5 of people plan to buy smart home devices in next year

The week in smart home: Amazon's back to school sale is on and more

The NPD has just released its two-year Future of Tech report, and it's found that 19% of people in the US are planning on buying a connected smart device for their home in the next 12 months. Smart home devices are set to be big business as well, with NPD saying sales will reach $1.7 billion through 2019.

As for smart speakers, they'll see about $1.6 billion in sales through 2019. By the end of 2019, smart speakers will be a $2.7 billion business, growing 50% from the end of 2017. Smart speakers are acting as gateways to the rest of the smart home, with many incrementally picking up smart home devices they can control with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.

Another big winner may be mesh routers. That's because as people add more devices to their Wi-Fi networks, networks may become strained. Thus, mesh Wi-Fi networks that use multiple routers to better blanket your home with coverage are going to become more appealing options.

Alexa can play smart cam recaps

The week in smart home: Amazon's back to school sale is on and more

One of the biggest benefits to Google and Nest's smart home partnership is that you can quickly and easily watch footage on your Chromecast or Smart Display. Now, Amazon is catching up.

Digital Trends reports on a new feature that Amazon announced on its developer site, though the link has since disappeared. If you've got a smart camera from Ring, August, Arlo, Amazon or Logitech, you can command Alexa to view a recap of your footage on your Echo or Fire device.

So you just say something like "Alexa, show the event that just happened at the front door" and then your Echo Spot, Echo Show, Fire TV or Fire tablet will show the footage from your camera on that device.

If your camera isn't already supported, you'll just have to wait a while until that company updates their companion skill. Amazon has added the Cameras Recap API to its set of APIs that developers can tap into. So if you've got a Nest Hello or Cam, you could be in luck in due time.

The camera can only pull footage from whatever you regularly have access to. So if you have a 30-day subscription plan to footage, that's the trove of footage it can pull from. However, it also will simply pull the last known footage from whatever camera you're calling. It's available to people in the US now, and will roll out to others in the future.

Deals of the Week

Every week we scour the web for the best smart home deals – check out our pick of this week's biggest bargains below.

TAGGED    amazon    smart home

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