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Bissell CrossWave PetPro Multi-Surface Cleaner

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UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

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Tuesday
Mar132018

Hands on with the new ecobee Switch+ Alexa powered smart light switch

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

with the ecobee Switch+ you can make any home or apartment a truly smart home by integrating Amazon's Alexa and all its connected features on a structural level.

Smart speakers are the hottest consumer technology devices in Canada this year. We already have an ongoing turf war between Google Home, which has a year's head start in Canada (and was also partly developed in Waterloo, ON) and Amazon Echo, whose Alexa smart assistant leads the market in the US and which is available on a range of speakers, PCs and other devices.

ecobee's new Switch+ replaces any single light switch in your home or office and effectively brings the power of Alexa and all the skills it can access into a diminuitive and integrated device that brings about the next level of smart home.

This minimalist and elegant solution replaces any old light switch into a control center for smart lights and appliances. It can play back music or news reports and make phone calls to people in your phone's address book.

Being a smart switch, the ecobee Switch+ can sens when you walk in and open the lights automatically, it can also switch off the lights when it determines the room is empty. That's just the beginning since this is basically a computer on your wall that can get new features via sotware updates.

Insstallation can be a DIY project if you're confident enough. A certfied electrician can get it set up in 30 minutes. You need to first turn off all the power in the area to avoid electrocution and then follow the step by step process of replacing your old switch with the ecobee Switch+.

Once installed you fire up your app and add the ecobee Switch to your Alexa network, update any software and you're good to go.

Audio quality is surprising adequate for such a tiny speaker and it works just as efficiently as an Echo Dot.  As for smart home sysstems, it integrates with  supports Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, the Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.

 

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