Ikea’s cheap smart lighting will be Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa compatible

Ikea’s low-cost TRÅDFRI smart lights first announced in Europe last year, will soon get voice control for owners of Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa devices. Expect it to arrive this summer or autumn, says Ikea’s Swedish press release.

Ikea says it sees “huge potential” in smart home products, a category it first entered in 2015 with a series of furniture and accessories that had wireless charging for compatible smartphones baked right in. Ikea says it will expand its presence in the connected home with more launches in the coming years.

Ikea’s TRÅDFRI low-cost devices could become a very disruptive force in smart homes. The company already helped to democratize design and lead the way in LED adoption. Now it’s positioned to…

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Amazon UK takes on Sky with TV Channel add-ons for Prime Video

In its bid to become the cord-cutting service of choice, Amazon UK has confirmed it's bringing Channel add-ons to the UK. The service allows Prime subscribers to bolt subscriptions from various UK TV services onto their account, without the need for…
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Amazon gives away 1.7M bananas around its headquarters in Seattle

Amazon’s free fruit stands are making locals and employees go bananas, but businesses in the area are split. Amazon first opened the Community Banana Stand in 2015, and there are now two on it’s sprawling corporate campus. Since then, it’s given away an estimated 1.7 million bananas from two separate stands to employees and non-employees alike. The employees running the stands are called “banistas” and “bananagers,” because Amazon are malevolent gods and won’t let a terrible pun go unexpressed, apparently. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the stands mean trouble for local businesses hoping to sell anything banana-related — why would anyone buy…

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Amazon releases the Android companion app for its fashion-focused Echo Look

Amazon Echo Look Hero

We might have previously thought that it was an April Fools’ joke, given the timing, but Amazon’s Echo Look is quite real. The device, with its camera and fancy machine learning skills, is meant to add some fashion sense to Amazon’s personal assistant. It is able to judge contemporary styling between a pair of outfits and even allows you to save your favorites. Today Amazon released the companion app for the Echo Look on Android, so now users of our favorite operating system can see on their phone which headband went better with that Blue Steel look.

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Amazon releases the Android companion app for its fashion-focused Echo Look was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung Gear 360 1st gen down to $168.55 on Amazon

Summer time is almost here and if you’re planning a trip or vacation somewhere, or if you have a couple of months full of activities and fun, then you’re probably looking at grabbing a new camera. Action cams are awesome, but what if you’re not the super adventurous kind and you just want to capture the moment in a unique way? Then you might be looking at 360 cams. And today we’ve got a deal on one of them.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung Gear 360 1st gen down to $ 168.55 on Amazon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon could be planning to bring its checkout-free grocery stores to Europe

Amazon could be looking to expand its cashier-free grocery stores to the UK and Europe in the future. The company recently filed several trademark applications related to its Go stores with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and its European Union equivalent.

The company filed applications to trademark four slogans: “No Lines, No Checkout. (No, Seriously),” “No Queue, No Checkout. (No, Seriously),” “Every Queue is a Defect,” and “Every Line is a Defect.” The slogans are similar to one used by the company when it first announced its Go stores last December. At the time, there were reports that the company intended to open around 2000 stores, although Amazon denied those plans. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, and will update…

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Amazon refreshes Fire tablet lineup, cuts price of Fire HD 8

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Amazon is continuing its recent string of hardware announcements by refreshing its tablet line, with design and power efficiency improvements made to the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 accompanied by Kids Edition models of both tablets, and the expansion of the Alexa voice assistant on the tablets from the United States to units shipped to the United Kingdom.
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Google’s IoT Cloud takes on Amazon and Azure

GE’s Geneva talks to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.

This week we recorded before the big rush of news from Google I/O but we managed to cram in the details on Google’s new IoT Core beta that offers developers a cloud-based platform for connected devices. Kevin Tofel and I also discuss Android Things and the moves Amazon has made with the Echo to compete with anticipated Google news. These include notifications on the Echo and a pledge to pay some developers. Add to this, Samsung’s new ARTIK modules, Honeywell’s new venture fund and some speculation on Spotify and we have a solid show. Plus, soon I can shop at B8ta.

Our guest this week is Bill Gardner from GE Appliances, who shares the industrial giant’s thinking around connected ovens, stoves and more. There’s some bad news, an AI named Geneva that works with Alexa and Google Home, plus a call for partners in building the smart kitchen for the future. And just for fun, I find out why I may want a connected washer and dryer. Enjoy the show!

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

[Deal Alert] Get a UE ROLL 2 Bluetooth speaker in Sugarplum for just $45 ($55 off) on Amazon

Dual speaker-equipped phones like the HTC U11, Nexus 6P, and Axon 7 may have better sound than their competitors, but the fact of the matter is that a phone’s sound will never beat out a standalone speaker’s. So if you want good portable sound and don’t yet own a Bluetooth speaker, the UE ROLL 2 may be worth considering. Given its capabilities, the ROLL 2 is a no-brainer at just $ 45, which is less than half of its MSRP.

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[Deal Alert] Get a UE ROLL 2 Bluetooth speaker in Sugarplum for just $ 45 ($ 55 off) on Amazon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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