Smart home getting dumber

“Moose out front shoulda told ya.”

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Wow. The Fire Phone boondoggle only cost them a couple hundred million.

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Fire Phone overlapped so much with the Fire Tablet, a big seller for them, that it was a relatively small bet.

It will be interesting to see what Amazon does here. Abandoning the platform would leave millions of customers stranded with a bricked smart assistant. Increasing the prices of new units will do little to fill the giant hole they’ve dug and right now is a bad time to become less competitive now that Matter is going to allow cross-platform functionality.

Another billionaire setting money on fire because he knows best.

They have so many devices (echo, echo dot, echo show, echo hairdryer, echo bidet) when the dot has always been the best form factor/ bang for your buck.

A lot of unnecessary R&D on products that seem at best to be maybe a promising start to something.

Imagine how many penis rockets they could have built.

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A broad range of devices makes a little sense as these were meant to be gateway drugs to get people hooked on using them to order shit from Amazon. The failure was not realizing that people weren’t going to do that. They could’ve found that out by selling a single device and seeing what people did with it.

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Somewhat bizarrely, Amazon used to have Dash buttons, which may have had even less friction for ordering products: you literally just pushed the button. Amazon killed them in favor of, at least in part, ordering via Alexa. Oops.

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Alexa is at my house, and I use her primarily for music, grocery lists, and kitchen timers. She gets pushy about time to order stuff, but I ignore her. I never buy anything with her.

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This weekend, I made all the lights in my kitchen / breakfast room smart. The new Lutron Smart Diva switches are excellent and, IMHO, worth the premium. Unlike the previous versions, they look like normal rocker switches, with the dimmers having a slide (instead of the 4-button mess of the original dimmer).

Now that I have added a few of these, the installation - and “hot-wiring” of the second switch in 3-way set-up - is much easier. Overall, the smarter I make my home, the more utility I get from it. It is still good advice to go room-by-room but, as you convert more rooms, the increase in convenience is exponential.

The set-up gets easier too. When you add new smart switches to the Home app, it suggests scenes to which you might want to add them so, with just a couple of taps, they’re easily included in appropriate scenes.