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Turn your house into a smart-home using Google home

(TECH NEWS) Google has upped the ante in the race to make homes smart with new Google Home integrations.

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Home assistants

The battle between Amazon Echo and Google Home heated up as both platforms are picking up more support from third party apps to make your life even easier. Echo has been around for a couple years now, and Google Home is still a newbie in the game so their 3rd party app support is incomparable.

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Google Home is starting to make waves — the only problem is, Echo is making waves right back.

Smart-home integrations

Google Home just announced a handful of third party devices it will now support and all of them help make your home a smart-home. Belkin, Wemo, and Honeywell are being added to a growing list of smart home devices that offer compatibility with Google Home. For a complete list of all integrated smart home related, google home supported devices read on!

  • Nest – Control security cameras, smoke alarms and thermostats with nests award winning hardware.
  • Philips Hue – Lightbulbs that can change colors, and be controlled remotely or on a timer.
  • Samsung Smart Things – A hub that can manage home lighting, security, outlets, smoke alarms, and a number of other smart devices.
  • Best Buy Insignia – A wifi smart plug that can now be managed by voice.
  • LIFX- Smart lightbulbs and led light strips
  • TP-Link – Smart plugs and lightbulbs
  • Wink – Another hub that integrates with a range of brands and devices.
  • Belkin – Security cameras and integrates wemo outlets
  • Wemo – Smart plugs and lightbulbs
  • Honeywell – Smart thermostats
  • Neato – Robotic vacuums
  • August – Smart video doorbells and smart locks.
  • Rachio – Smart sprinklers
  • First Alert – Cameras, safes, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms
  • Vivint – Integrated home security
  • Frigidaire – Fridges, coffee makers, laundry and appliances galore.
  • Anova – Sous Vide cooker you can control from your phone (and now your voice!)
  • Geeni – Integrated lightbulbs, security cameras and outlets
  • Logitech Harmony – Smart remotes, universal switches and music control

It’s an all out race

Meanwhile Echo has announced proprietary integration with Hauwei and Motorola just two more drops in the bucket of Alexa’s expansive app universe, and all of this as Samsung tries to catch up unveiling Bixby, their Siri like mobile assistant.

So is it time for you to buckle down and pick up one of these home hubs for yourself?

It may still be too early to figure out which platform will emerge as world’s best secretary, and most of these systems can be controlled via smart phone assistant. However, if you’re not making your home smarter yet, then you’re behind the times my friend. Nothing says luxury like waking up to your bedside lamp slowly brightening the way into your day. Trust me.

#Smart-home

C. L. Brenton is a staff writer at The American Genius. She loves writing about all things, she’s even won some contests doing it! For everything C. L. check out her website

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jack Smith

    March 30, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Have both. Purchased the Echo on its launch almost 2 years ago and now we have several of the Google Homes.

    The Echo uses commands. So you memorize how to ask it something. An example for songs it has a command “song goes like” if you do not know the name.

    With the Google Home you just talk. The two are often compared but really there is no comparison, IMO.

  2. Pingback: Burger King is hijacking Google Homes with a new ad - The American Genius

  3. Pingback: Hey Siri, please download Google Assistant on my iPhone, thanks - The American Genius

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Earbuds that are noise cancelling hit the market just in time for the holidays

(TECH NEWS) There are no shortage of earbuds on the market, however, Nuheara’s noise cancelling, bluetooth earbuds are sure to top everyone’s wish list.

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Noise cancelling earbuds are efficient for blocking out the world around you – when all you want to hear is your music and nothing else. However, for those who want a smaller, sleeker alternative, Nuheara is the perfect fit.

Nuheara are wireless audio earbuds that are customizable to your hearing needs. Even though they have the same power as noise cancelling headphones, they can be adjusted to amplify or minimize sound based on each situation.

You can choose to blend the sounds of the streets and your new favorite album in order to be aware of the world around you. The earbuds are ideal for any situation.

The noise cancelling earbuds use SINC (Superior Intelligent Noise Control) technology, which lets every user create their custom hearing experience.

There are numerous times when it’s hard to hear because of the noise around us. This may be in crowded restaurants, concerts or even when you’re at home trying to avoid the noisy neighbor in the apartment above you.

The SINC technology applies a frequency filter to sounds you choose to hear or want to avoid. Additionally, the left and right earbuds have their own settings, so that they can be customized individually. Everything is customized through the app, so it’s up to each user to decide!

Prior to founding Nuheara, Justin Miller and David Cannington worked in the oil and gas companies creating industrial strength hearing headsets.

The feedback they received during these experiences paved the way for inventing Nuheara. People wanted a sleek headset that they could wear in everyday life, not just at their job.

The earbuds will set you back a few hundred bucks, but they come with accessories like a battery charger, carrying case and 8 different silicone tips. The battery charger provides three full charges. Nuheara earbuds are also sweat and water resistant, but they are not yet waterproof.

As wireless headphones, Nuheara are also compatible with most Bluetooth connected devices. The earbuds also use tap-touch control to make hands-free phone calls, control music and adjust settings.

There is no need to connect Nuheara to external devices to use their noise cancelling capabilities.

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Turn your FAQ page into a chatbot without knowing how to code

(TECH NEWS) An easy way to add a chatbot to your site and automate some of your work is through this new simple tool that doesn’t require any tech know-how.

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faqbot chatbot

Reduce your workload and personalize customer service engagement with Faqbot, the tool that turns your online FAQ into a customized chatbot.

Co-founded by Denny Wong and CEO Mathis André, Faqbot uses machine learning to streamline frequently asked questions into a handy chatbot pal.

Based on your existing FAQ content, Faqbot builds a database that learns from every conversation to improve responses. Faqbot can also be used to automate sales and lead generation.

You get to design the conversation flow, mapping out a custom path to guide users to a desired outcome. Set predefined choices or free text, customize the bot’s responses, and determine what leading questions the bot should ask.

For example, on the Faqbot site, I was given two pre-set choices to click after each response from the bot. Clicking “Thanks for helping” gets the polite response “You are welcome! ;-)” complete with an old-school emoji featuring a nose.

If you select “not my question,” Faqbot uses its general response to any unanswerable question: “Sorry, I’m a chatbot. I am constantly learning and have answers to frequently asked questions. Thank you for leaving your email and we will get back to you shortly.”

Choose your own responses based on already defined FAQ or come up with new messaging to better engage and inform your customers as needed. The free text option is also available if customers wish to continue asking questions.

Of course, I had to try out some less than frequently asked questions. When I asked Faqbot “are we friends?” it kindly replied, “Absolutely. You don’t have to ask.” So I’m smitten.

However, when I tried to take it to the next level by asking “Do you love me?,” which seems to be the internet’s favorite way to harass a bot, I got the “Sorry, I’m a chatbot” response.

That’s okay. I’ll recover. Faqbot isn’t here to love, it’s here to answer questions.

You can easily install the chatbot by either copy/pasting the snippet of codes directly into your webpage, or connect Faqbot to your company’s Facebook page. No coding skills required.

Pricing is based on number of users per month, but all levels include the same service offerings of FAQ database management, messaging interface, a ticketing system, and DIY guided conversation flow. You can try out Faqbot free for 14 days by signing up on their site.

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Tech News

This note-taking app is perfect for the creative mind

(TECH NEWS) The newest app for note-taking could be a tremendous asset for a very specific type of creative that tools like trello and evernote fall short on… not all apps work for all people.

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If you’re like me, you’ve had many phases in your idea-having, note-taking life. There was the AP History period, where I decided the quality of my notes would be judged based on the tininess of my handwriting and the number of innovative abbreviations coined. There was the “song collection” period, in which I wrote down song and band names with reckless abandon, on any scrap of paper or non-paper within reach, and promptly scattered the scraps everywhere. There was the post-it era, in which every single idea was carefully documented on a “Sticky Note” that tiled over my Windows desktop and was impossible to find thereafter.

And then, there was Evernote, and Trello, and I thought my evolution was complete. I had neatly organized “Notebooks” and “Cards” and I felt very structured and efficient and spiritually done with my note-taking journey.

But a whisper of rebellion called out to me. It sounded musical, colorful, whimsical. It asked me whether I wouldn’t like to liberate myself from those neat lists and stacks, let my ideas flow, visualize my thoughts?

It introduced me to Milanote – the note-taking app truly made FOR images, not just tolerant of them.

Milanote markets itself toward creatives: “For the research, thinking and planning behind your next great piece of work.”

But the strengths of this app could benefit anyone who could use a more freeform space to collect their thoughts. A blank page resembles a peg board, and users can add images, notes, links, and more in any configuration their hearts desire. You can also link any elements together with a web of lines, or leave them on their own.

This could be a great app for early-stage brainstorming and planning, when you need to play around and be flexible.

Milanote can be collaborative, like Trello, or individual and personal, like my always-evolving grocery list in Evernote. Milanote currently works in any web browser, and iOs and Android apps are coming soon.

For up to 100 notes, Milanote can be yours free of charge. More than that, though, and you’ll have to pay $9.99 for the pro version.

Something tells me infinity should cost much more, but the organic, customizable concept is something to hold on to.

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