It's that time of year again – some of the biggest deals on the internet are back, with Amazon Prime Day. It's the day to get up to 50 percent off of some of the smartest home technology available. Whether you've been on the fence about equipping your home with voice-activated devices, or you're looking to update the system you've got in place now, here's what you need to know about the Alexa-equipped tech on sale for Prime Day.
For starters, the Echo Dot is on sale for half price, down from it's usual $49.99 to $22.00. The Dot is a smart speaker designed to stream music from platforms from Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and is enabled to stream Audible as well. The Alexa-enabled device can be instructed to play music, as well as set timers, create lists, and update calendar events and reminders. It is part entertainment essential, and part personal assistant.
And, it's been updated following privacy concerns about a device that can listen to you inside your home. The updated version of Alexa enabled devices includes a new command that allows users to delete everything they've said that day. All a user has to do is say "Alexa, delete everything I said today." The change came after everyone from consumers to senators expressed concern that Alexa was recording everything a user said while the device was activated (and that Amazon employees were then listening to those recordings). It's an update that will reportedly improve the privacy of devices like the Echo Dot.
If you're looking to completely transform your living space into a smart home, other tech that pairs with the Echo is also on sale. You can control the lighting in your house with your voice with smart light bulbs that pair with the Echo Dot. Make commands like "Alexa turn on the lights" when you walk into a room, and later, "Alexa, play music." Starter kits for the smart home systems are 40 percent off, down from $249.98 to $149.98. The second generation Echo speaker comes with two Philips smart light bulbs, as well as a hub to connect your smart bulbs to your wifi.
If voice-enabled lighting isn't enough for you – and in 2019, there is truly no limit to the smart devices available – the next item to add to your shopping cart is the Ring. It's a smart doorbell that also pairs with the Echo Dot, and can be used to send announcements to Echo devices if someone rings the doorbell. Ring is also enabled with a 1080 HD video stream, so that you can monitor your home at any time. The third generation of the Ring and the Echo Dot bundled are on sale for $169, down from $273.99.
And if you're all in on making a smart-security system, a new feature, called Alexa Guard, detects sounds while you're not home, which can be enabled through the Alexa app. This can be paired with certain Echo devices to add further security – between the Ring and Alexa Guard, your home can be fully monitored by Amazon devices.
If you've got little kids running around who love to play with tech but maybe you're not inclined to let them play with an Alexa device connected to the entirety of the internet and all of your other smart devices, Amazon has designed something just for children. The Echo Dot for kids is specially designed to play music, tell stories, and call an approved list of friends and families – it will even filter out songs with explicit lyrics from certain streaming apps. Kids can access programming like stories and music from Disney, Nickelodeon, National Geographic Kids, and Cartoon Network. It's on sale too – the Prime Day markdown discounts the product from $69 to $44.
20 years ago, the closest to a smart home we could imagine was the Disney Channel movie Smart House. And while houses that clean themselves don't exist (yet) with an Alexa-enabled home, especially the Echo Dot, you're nearly there.