CCATP #486 – Joe Dugandzic on New Amazon Echo Devices

Smarter home life logoThis week I’m joined by the awesome Joe Dugandzic from Smarter Home Life ( to talk about the huge set of product and capability announcements from Amazon about their Echo line of devices. We talk Echo Show, Echo Look, ecobee4, and the new voice calling in the Alexa app for your existing Echo devices. Joe is really into home automation with a fabulous YouTube channel so he really knows his stuff. Plus he’s fun and entertaining. Links to everything we talked about after the “continue reading” button!

mp3 download

  • Echo Look (Evidently -not- a late April Fools joke by Amazon, 4/26, invite-only, ships ?)
    • Amazon Echo Look preview info
    • Feature called “Style Sense”
    • A camera…for fashion?
    • In your bedroom?
    • How does Joe manage privacy with an indoor security camera?
    • $200 (no bulk discounts, aww…..come on, Amazon!)
    • MediaPost Comm says 82% wouldn’t buy it
  • Ecobee4 ($249, older models discounted now)
    • Added Alexa to the Ecobee smart thermostat
    • Speakers & Microphone
  • Echo Show ($230 for 1, or 2 for $360, ships June 28)
    • Screen
    • Video chat (CUSeeMe: (
    • Drop in – Jason Viglione clarified for me on Twitter after I described it on Clockwise Fact sheet at
      • Choose your closest friends and family AND choose which Echo Show
    • Opt in, but once you do, you have 10 seconds to decline a video call!
    • They say “when you want to drop in to check on an elderly relative, let the family know it’s time for dinner, or check on the baby in the nursery.”
    • Nucleus – just got “Sherlocked”. Amazon’s “Alexa” fund invested in start-up Nucleus, who makes a smart video intercom system with Alexa, and is sold “ideally” in pairs just like the Show. Recode article and Nucleus site.
    • Regarging the book 1984: Keith Jensen said, “What Orwell failed to predict was that we’d buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest fear would be that nobody was watching.” -Keith Jensen”
  • Alexa app on iOS got an update (Android update went live on Wed)
    • Voice calling
    • Our fun experiment with two simultaneous calls (now has >4000 views!)
    • Privacy – slurp up your contacts
    • Really cool though, great audio even on the Dot
    • Two friends I hadn’t heard from in ages called me out of the blue because of it
    • Audio quality seems pretty good, even across the room.
    • Doesn’t work on Amazon Tap
    • Joe’s Smarter Home Life video of our shenanigans with Echo voice calling:…

    “Always-connected” cameras in the home. Technically, these landed in our homes with Dropcam, etc, even before the Echo. How does this bode for the future? Omna camera from D-Link that Allison referenced

    Joe has a Giveaway:

    • Doorbell & smart lights from Zmodo and LIFX.
    • Includes Zmodo Pivot home security camera, Zmodo Greet video doorbell, and 2 LIFX+ color-changing smart bulbs (regular and floodlight) with infrared LEDs that improve night vision for security cameras.
    • Go to for all the details and to enter.

    Giveaway Ends 3pm pacific daylight time Tuesday May 16!

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