Smart Home Pitfalls

I love all things tech and for most of my life have been an early adapter. I'm in my third iteration of "smart home" devices.  We're now to the sweet spot of phone apps, smart switches, lights, appliances and environment control enabled via home network and "the cloud" when away from home. When things go well, … Read more

Augmenting Alexa voice commands with a bedside Flic button.

We have intensely automated lights and devices in our home with Alexa, and in most instances voice control is a wonderful substitute when painful backs and hips and legs discourage us from getting up to go turn things on and off etc.But I use a CPAP machine and mask at night for sleep apea therapy, and … Read more

Idea / Challenge

Hi there! I want to start off by saying that if it wasn't for this community and the instructions on how to use the Amazon Echo and set up the device for a person without a smartphone, my family and I wouldn't have been able to interact with my father this past year while he … Read more

What is Echo Show Good For?

Hi, this is Paul Verchinski.  I live in Columbia, MD.  We have a Village of about 200 members (ages 60 to 95) and have recently acquired 40 Shows thru a grant..  Unfortunatley, does not seem to be a lot of interest in using the Show, only 10 picked up..  We have a group that is … Read more

Ideas for Alexa skills or routines to keep my Dad engaged

I'm giving Dad a couple of Alexa Echos for Christmas (he has a big house and is hard of hearing).  I'm trying to find some good skills and maybe set up some routines to get him to actually engage with the devices.  I was thinkng of creating a morning routine that includes a greeting, the weather … Read more

Smoke detectors – ways to make them “SMART”

My father-in-law lives with family who both work, leaving him alone at home for several hours per day. He is 93, legally blind and practically deaf. We knew we needed some tech to help remote family members comfortable. Getting a smart door lock was a no brainer. Caregiver family can remotely open it for visitors, … Read more

Echo Show Experiences – Mom and Daughter

We're now on day two of having Echo Show up and running at my home in Minnesota, and my Mom's home in Texas. Initially, I was concerned that I would have to walk my decidedly not-techie sister-in-law through setting up Alexa on someome's phone in order to take advantage of the bluetooth setup aspects. Thankfully, … Read more

Amazon Echo Show: What I Use it For

About a year ago, my wife and I were on a Facetime call with my son and his family who are far away in Tennessee.  Two grandsons crowded to be seen on the iPhone screen while the third grandson sat on his dad's lap. Due to the close quarters, when the little fellow lept up excitedly … Read more

Best Video Call Technology

Now that we are all “sheltering in place”, finding ways to interact virtually with people from our homes has rocketed up people’s priority list. We have had quite a few emails now from people wanting to know the best way to have video calls with their family and friends. Here are some thoughts to help … Read more