About two weeks ago Amazon had their annual Prime Day 24+ hour sale, and like many Prime members I was looking for some bargains. Recently my family had been complaining that the WiFi signal in the upstairs of my home was not strong enough. At times they would find a better data signal on the cellular network causing everyone to use a ton of extra data each month. I decided I was going to give the Securifi Almond+ a try if it was on sale during Prime Day.
If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed I wrote an article regarding Google’s mesh Wifi System. The Google system is excellent and I highly recommend it for most home users, and at $270 for 3 units the price is great too. However in my case Google Wifi was not going to cut it because I wanted to keep my primary router. (Google wants to take over the entire home network)
Introducing the Securifi Almond+
Continue reading “Securifi Almond Wifi Router, Extender, Access Point – Review”
I have to preface this by saying I am in no way an Amazon fan boy, however I do enjoy many of their products. Amazon has produced many huge hits in the past and a few major fails. Does anyone remember the Amazon Mobile phone? By far the Amazon Echo has been a huge hit, I have owned mine since its release.
Over the past few years Amazon has attempted to integrate their Alexa software into as many devices as possible. There is a slue of Echo devices, plus Alexa has been integrated into both the fire stick and Amazon tablet. You can even build your own Alexa out of a Raspberry Pi.
This time it would appear that the Amazon Echo Dash is more of a fail then a success.
Why is it such a fail?
First off and most importantly, this thing can’t play music. I can understand from Amazon’s point of view with a limited battery life and a speaker the size of a quarter I’m sure the sound quality would be extremely poor. I would love to have the option and make my own decision on usability.
Many users of the device have reported paying huge markups when ordering items via the bar code scanner. Continue reading “Amazon Echo Dash – Mostly a Disappointment?”
I guess this is the natural evolution for the Alexa digital assistant. Poor Alexa has been trapped in that cylinder all these years. Now with the latest version from Amazon, the Echo Show can see you and “show” you things. I have had the original Amazon Echo from day one. My family and I have found it very useful, weather we use her for homework help or to get the scores of the New York Ranger game or just to simply play Jeopardy.
Check out the new Echo Show At Amazon
What can Alexa Show – “Show You?”
The most interesting new feature is the access to video and voice calling. Basically this is a face time clone, however it takes it one step further with the new “Drop In” feature. This new feature is designed to auto accept a call giving you a 10-second window to reject. I can see this being useful if you want to check in on an elderly family member, or check in on the kids after school. Continue reading “Amazon adds a screen to Alexa – Calling it Echo Show”
As a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, I’m always looking for cool new projects to try. Google had released a free hardware kit with Issue 57 of the MagPi magazine. The kit included a Pi Voice Hat, a microphone board, speaker, a “traditional google” card board case and various bits to put it all together. Apparently this is Google’s answer the Raspberry Pi Amazon Echo that was released last year.
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on the kit, I hope you put it to good use. They were in limited supply and are sold out at this point. Maybe they will make another run and sell them in the Google store?
If you still want to try this project with out the kit you can! Google has published instructions.
Supplies you will need
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and power supply
Continue reading “Build Your Own Google Home Assistant – Google AIY & Raspberry Pi”