Ecobee4 has embedded microphones with far-field voice recognition and a speaker designed for clear voice and full sound. It is compatible with major smart home ecosystems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Microsoft Cortana and Samsung SmartThings
Common voice commands using Cortana include “Hey Cortana, set the temperature to <temperature value>,” “Hey Cortana, set <temperature name> to <temperature value>,” and “Hey Cortana, make it warmer/cooler in here.”
Users may control the thermostat from a smart speaker, mobile phone or PC. The package comes with a sensor, which can be installed to measure temperature and occupancy, and as such, help ecobee not to overheat or overcool a certain area of the room, conserving energy and saving utility bills.
The Smart Home/Away function automatically enables the right mode for energy savings when it senses no one is home. The company says its customers in the US saved up to 23 percent on heating and cooling expenses, based on an internal study.
The companion app lets users adjust temperature and comfort settings on either Android or iOS devices, as well as Apple Watch.
The new Ecobee 4 costs around US$240, while previous generations can be purchased at significantly lower prices.
Geeni SURGE Smart Surge Protector
Priced at US$39.99, the surge protector has four outlets which a homeowner can plug appliances into, and connects multiple devices to the Geeni ecosystem.
The device lets users name and control each outlet separately or in groups. For example, a homeowner may name a couple of the outlets as “living room lamp.” And with the voice command “Hey Cortana, turn off the living room lamps,” lamps plugged to the outlets will be switched off.
The Geeni App allows users to monitor all four devices simultaneously on a smartphone.
No hub is required for Geeni’s product line, which supports voice control using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.
Honeywell Wi-Fi 9000 with Voice Control – 7-Day Programmable Thermostat
With the voice-activated recognition and control, users can say, “Hello, thermostat,” and it will respond to your voice input to change the temperature. With Cortnana integration, a user may use a command like “Hey Cortana, set the living room thermostat to 72 degree,” “Hey Cortana, make it warmer in here.”
The Wi-Fi connection empowers your smartphone, tablet or computer to remotely control the thermostat inside the home or from anywhere with the free app on your smartphone.
The thermostat also looks sharp, thanks to its large, customizable color touch screen. You can change the screen color to match paint, your mood or support your favorite team. This thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified, allowing users to conserve energy and save utility bills.
LIFX BR30 with Night Vision
With Cortana integration, homeowners may use voice commands like “Hey Cortana, change the lights to blue,” “Hey Cortana, dim the lights.”
The light is the company’s first product made to be used outdoors, allowing users to truly illuminate their entire home. It comes with 16 million colors and tunable whites. It is available in both A19 and BR30 bulb sizes to cover the home inside and out.
LIFX can be connected without hubs. Once it is connected to an existing Wi-Fi network, users will be able to control them from anywhere in the world. LIFX is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit as well.
LIFX Wi-Fi connected light bulbs provide vivid colors, and can set the mood right for movie night. In addition, LIFX + BR30 uses 950nm infrared light to help enhance security camera’s night vision.
Also, users can create their own IFTTT recipes to personalize home automation. For example, it can be set up in such way that the light will turn on when a new email arrives.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug – Slim Edition
The Wi-Fi plug lets users turn on and off appliances remotely or at pre-set schedules. As such, users no longer need to worry about forgetting to turn off devices like a straightening iron. And they can have appliances turn on or off automatically to make it look like someone is home.
The smart plug works with Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to enable voice control. Users can assign each plug by a name and control it individually, or with others in a group.
The plug can be connected to the home Wi-Fi without a hub. The Kasa App enables remote control, scheduling and status monitoring of home electronics. The app is functional on both iOS and Android devices.
Compact housing makes the product smaller than other smart plugs. With a thickness of 1.5 inches, the smart plug mini blends into your outlet and any room’s décor without blocking adjacent power sockets.
Insteon Starter Kit
With a price tag of US$100, the starter kit lets users build a smart home system on their own. The kit includes the Insteon Hub and two dimmer modules that allow users to remotely control lights and create schedules. Insteon can be controlled by voice or mobile app.
Just three steps are required to complete the installation. First, connect the hub and set up the account using a smartphone; secondly, connect the two dimmer modules to lamps and add them to the Insteon app; and lastly, add Insteon to the Cortana platform.
Insteon uses dual-mesh technology which does not interfere or compete with users’ homes Wi-Fi or other Wi-Fi connected devices.
The Insteon system may be expanded by adding outdoor on/off module, dimmer switch, on/off switch, motion sensor or water leak sensor.
The outdoor module lets users control outdoor string lights, landscape lights, water fountains, etc. The motion sensor lets users control Insteon devices based on motion. With the water leak sensor, homeowners can get an immediate alert on their smartphones when a leak occurs.
Philips Hue White A19
The Hue Bridge and double A19 bulb starter kit provides what users need to create their own Hue Personal Lighting System. The Bridge can accommodate up to 50 Philips Hue lights.
Philipe Hue While A19 allows users to enhance their home with soft white lighting, which can be controlled remotely. The lights can be automated on the Philips Hue App, so that users don’t have to arrive at a dark home.
With a simple command, Cortana can turn Philips lights on/off, or dim the lights to the desired brightness. Philips said more features and functionalities will be added soon.
Philips Hue lights can also be controlled via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
Each kit contains two LED smart bulbs. The Philips Hue Bridge can control up to 50 lights without slowing down the Wi-Fi network.
Johnson Controls GLAS
GLAS is the first smart thermostat featuring Cortana and powered by Windows 10 IoT Core. Its translucent OLED touchscreen display lets users control temperature, monitor air quality, check the weather, etc.
When connected to the internet, GLAS will monitor the outdoor condition and adjust indoor temperature settings to create a comfortable environment.
Cortana is integrated into the thermostat so that users may check and adjust temperatures indoor. For example, user can say, “Hey Cortana, set the temperature to 68 degrees.”
Moreover, Cortana can help users manage calendar, check the traffic, and more, and all the information will be on the display in one place.
Users can access GLAS on mobile, tablet or web browser. The app is available to download for iOS and Android.