Today, I traveled to Manhattan to see what was up at the Amazon’s 2018 Holiday Press Preview.

There was furniture, kitchen appliances, pet accessories, clothing and probably a few things I missed. But I was there to ogle at the devices, many of which use Alexa. If you wish to check out non-tech stuff, feel free to use the #AllOnAmazon hashtag on various social media to see what people are gossiping about.

A couple of non-tech devices did catch my eye.

I took a photo of a couple of waffle irons. This one is made to look as if it’s a fancy handbag. I don’t think it’s “fooling” anyone, but it sure is good for a laugh.


handbag waffle iron

 

This one makes your waffle look like a keyboard. That’s for the tech nerd who JUST can NOT be without a keyboard in front of them.  Even if it’s edible. keyboard waffle iron

This waffle iron can be found here. Seriously, some of the “reviews” on that page are hilarious.

 

 

 

The next devices I checked out really make your home or office into a Smart home or Smart office. Of course, you can access Alexa on any Android phone. It’s there for any question you wish to ask it. But, if you wish to live more “hands-free” combine one of the Alexa echo devices with programmable software.

Alexa echo is the hardware (the link will show you various models and sizes, depending on your needs).

Alexa echo 

  • Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings, Amazon Video content, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Call almost anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response. Play your music simultaneously across Echo devices with multi-room music (Bluetooth not supported). Adjust the treble, mid, and bass levels with your voice.
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Amazon and others. Turn on lights or the TV, set thermostats, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
  • With eight microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Allrecipes, CNN, and more

 

 

 

Alexa Skill Blueprints is a list of software you can use. Now, this is the real power of this system. Here is where you, the User, can create your own personal programs. For example, let’s say you run a Bed and Breakfast business. Using the Houseguest template add whatever info your guests may need to know during their stay in your home. What time meals are served, what the menu is, what activities may be available in the area, what the cost of different rooms are, what to do in emergencies and so on. That way, even if you aren’t around to answer a question, your guests can find out what they need. And, being software, it’s flexible. You can add more information as you need it. What a great idea!

Alexa Skill Blueprints

 

 

Alexa Spot is one of the many models available.

Alexa Spot

  • Echo Spot is designed to fit anywhere in your home. Use 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to watch video flash briefings, see music lyrics, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Echo Spot connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service to play music, read the news, answer questions, set music alarms, control smart home, and more
  • Just ask to play a song, artist, or genre, and see lyrics with Amazon Music. Also, stream music and books from Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible.
  • Use the built-in speaker or connect to speakers through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms.
  • Ask Alexa to turn on your lights, show baby monitors and front door cameras, and lock your doors. Plus, control your thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more.
  • Call almost anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home.
  • With tens of thousands of skills, Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.

 

 

 

Now, this is one device I REALLY like. The Ring Doorbell attaches to your house just like any wireless doorbell. Connect to your WiFi and then to your phone. It can connect to more than one phone device. The video is activated by motion detection. Which is great. You know THAT GUY that brings your package but is too darn lazy to actually find out if you are home? Especially is he needs your signature. Well, with the Ring Doorbell you will be alerted the moment he steps near the door and since the device is on stealth mode you can scare the cr*p out of the guy by shouting, “HEY YOU!, wait right there, buddy!” Seriously, it would be worth it just to see that guy jump 5 feet in the air.

Ring Doorbell

 

The Ring Doorbell only lights up when a visitor presses it.

You can control how sensitive the motion detection is. This video explains it best.

 

 

So, I had a good time. Don’t forget to check out #AllOnAmazon on Instagram and Twitter