The week in smart home: Amazon Echo Look is now on sale to everyone

All the other stories from the week

Week in smart home: Echo Look goes on sale

After a pretty slow one last week, it’s been an action-packed few days in smart home news. Stealing a lot of the limelight this week was Sonos and its shiny new Beam soundbar. We heard it up close - and we likey.

Not to be left out of the conversation, Amazon announced the Fire TV Cube, an Echo and streaming box in one. It can be used to control your various TV devices using Alexa, functioning as an Echo the rest of the time.

Also, check out this lamp that doubles as a smart speaker with AR superpower. If that description alone doesn’t make your head spin, I don’t know what will.


Here’s what else went down this week.


Echo Look fashion cam available to everyone in the US

The week in smart home: Amazon Echo Look is now on sale to everyone

One of Amazon's... stranger devices, the Echo Look, is a camera that analyzes what you're wearing and makes recommendations to improve your outfit. It also uses a mixture of Amazon's machine learning algorithms and human input to compare photos of you in different outfits to tell you which suits you better.


The little device will help you organize your clothes into a lookbook and offer up style tips from fashionistas. Expect plenty of recommendations pushing you to Amazon's store, too.


Great Amazon TV deal


Until now the Look was available through an invite only, but the camera is now available to all customers in the US for $199.99 on Amazon.



Baby’s first word is "Alexa"

The week in smart home:

What was your first word? Mine was “McDonalds”. Well, that’s not entirely true, it was more of an incomprehensible “Mmm” sound I used to make when we drove past the McDonald’s golden arches. What made this strange was that we never ate there, which just goes to show how easily and randomly kids pick these things up. For one infant, we learned this week that his first word was “Alexa”.


Baby Joe Brady was caught trying to activate the smart speaker, his parents told Caters News Agency (via New York Post). “It was one of the few things he could get a reaction from at that time. Alexa would say, ‘Sorry, I didn’t get that,’” his mother said.


“One day he managed [to activate it],” she later added. “We thought it was funny at first so we encouraged it. He actually said Alexa before he said mum or dad.”


Babies, we've all been there.



Google's idea to make Home hijack-proof

The week in smart home:

Smart assistants are learning to tell our voices apart, but it’s far from a foolproof system. Google’s patenting a system to stop people hijacking our Home devices and turning the Google Assistant rogue.


It sounds like Google’s idea is for a two-step verification process, reports Digital Trends, where Google would detect a different voice and send a verification to another device to confirm that the person is legit and not someone else trying to cause havoc.


Sounds a bit fiddly, but as with all patents this is just an idea right now; don’t assume this will come to fruition. However as our assistant become more adept and further-reaching in their abilities, there will need to be precautions in place to prevent them from nefarious uses.



See Apple Home running on Mojave

The week in smart home:

One of the new features of Apple's next macOS update is Home control, allowing you to command your HomeKit devices from the desktop. The folks at Apple Insider have been playing with the new update and put together a good walkthrough on how it all works - go check it out.



Top smart home deals

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

Deals of the Week

Nest Thermostat - Save $45
Nest Thermostat - Save $45
Amazon
$204.99
Echo Plus & Hue Bulb - $14.99 off
Echo Plus & Hue Bulb - $14.99 off
Amazon
$$149.99
Wemo Light Switch - 22% off
Wemo Light Switch - 22% off
Amazon
$38.90
iRobot Roomba 960 - Save $150
iRobot Roomba 960 - Save $150
Amazon
$548.75

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