SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

A little Automation goes a long way.

Automation is an ongoing trend. Everywhere we look there is a new technology awaiting us. Yet automation goes beyond what we typically think it to be and we have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities .

As a self-proclaimed techie, I am always on the lookout for the newest gadgets. However, I  usually do my due diligence before buying the latest tech as much gets shelved after the warm and fuzzies wear off. Anyone knows that most technology is out of date before it ever hits the store shelves for the consumer .

Recently I gave in to the novelty of Amazon Alexa. I held out and did not buy the Echo. Nor did I jump at the 1st generation of the Dot, yes there was a 1st, we are now into the 2nd generation.

It is the 2nd generation Dot that peaked my inner geek to deploy a little automation.

When it first arrived, I thought it was a bit silly looking. Actually, it looks kind of like a hockey puck with lights. However, after plugging it in and connecting it to my WiFi network, I then connected it to the Alexa app on my phone, opinions began to change. I had also ordered a starter set of Phillips Hue lights with a bridge to interact with the Alexa Dot. For those that don’t know that basically means I can control the lights in my house by voice commands to Alexa.

Amazon Alexa Dot, Automation with a small footprint

The more I have used and customized the Alexa profile to work with devices, give me the weather, news and more, the more I feel like I have my own personal assistant or VA. I doubt I have scratched the surface of what Amazon and Alexa will be able to do. They actually have a repository where geeks like myself can get access to the basic code. There you can develop your own functions to share with the world. The possibilities are endless!

Overall it the Alex Dot perfect? Well yes and no.

Users give up the built-in speaker of the Echo for a smaller footprint. In my opinion, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows you to plug in any speakers you want into its 3.5 mm jack. The smaller footprint is brilliant. It can be discrete and control all of your home automation products without being seen. I look forward to building out my network or Echo Dots. Possibly adding more automation products like possibly more Hue lights, Nest products and who knows what else they will come up with.

The Echo Dot normally retails for 49.99 each. This Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday if you hurry you can save $10.00 and get it for 39.99.

Do you have automation products that you enjoy? If so I would love to hear your ideas or suggestions as I shop to expand my inner geek and simplify my lifestyle.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive get a little green. Thanks and happy shopping!

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

One Reply

  1. Candace Crosby

    And I am sure you enjoy freaking people out by turning lights off and on (who are unaware of what’s going on)…neighbors may start saying the house is haunted, or some such nonsense!