A Week In Amazon’s Internet Of Things (IoT) – Alexa/Echo & Dash Buttons

Finally, I’ve gotten what I desperately need and truly deserve — a personal assistant at home. Sure, she doesn’t do windows (or dishes, or laundry, etc.) but I see great promise in our family’s relationship with Alexa — the “personality” behind Amazon’s Echo device. It feels a little odd to call a device “her,” but it feels even stranger not to, as she — like Apple’s Siri — is clearly worthy of a personal pronoun.

For my birthday, I bought myself an Amazon Echo, after hearing some of my colleagues wax rhapsodic about their experiences with the device. Another deciding factor: the company recently added an integration with SmartThings, my home automation/IoT hub — which means I could (theoretically) control my “things” via voice control.

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Updated: What Not To Do To Get Around The Amazon Prime Price Rise

With Amazon Prime memberships going up to $99 annually, I’d imagine there are plenty of folks thinking “How could I possibly get around this?” “Can I renew early at the current price?” I know I did. My attempt failed, however — so don’t do what I did.

AmazonPrimeWhat did I do? I bought a Prime Membership as a gift and sent it to myself. Only problem is that Amazon is wise to that. If you are already a member and get Prime as a gift, the new subscription isn’t added on to the one you already have. Instead, it gets converted to an Amazon Gift Card of the same value.

Oh, well. I’m sure I’ll spend that $84 on Amazon eventually — and get my purchases shipped to me for “free”.

P.S. If you happen to find a way to successfully renew your membership at the current price, let me know in the comments!

P.P.S. Looks like Lifehacker found a solution for this, after all!