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The Wirecutter's best deals: Google Home and Philips Hue bundles drop by $70


This bundle offers two of our picks, the Google Home Speaker and the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter kit, for $230, an excellent deal. The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit is our pick for the best smart LED light bulbs. Grant Clauser writes, "Philips Hue is not just a smart bulb; it's a whole smart system. This is an excellent deal on these refurbished noise cancelling headphones, which typically cost $350 new.

Microsoft takes on Nest with a Cortana-based thermostat


Microsoft isn't content to let Amazon or Alphabet dictate the future of the smart home. The software giant has unveiled a smart thermostat from Johnson Controls, GLAS, that promises to one-up what you see from the likes of Nest. The slick-looking control packs both a translucent touchscreen and, more importantly, Cortana voice controls -- you don't have to talk to a speaker or your phone to change the temperature. Neither Microsoft nor Johnson Controls has said anything at this point (we're reaching out), but it's safe to say this will cost more than your average home climate controller.

Our favorite affordable smart plug is at a new low price right now


Smart home devices can make everyday tasks easier, leaving more time and energy for other more important aspects of your life. If you're looking for ways to enjoy a slice of the smart home pie without parting with all of your hard-earned money, I highly recommend a smart plug like the TP-Link Smart WiFi Plug. You can control this smart plug from your phone, making it a breeze to fire up your a/c on the way home or turn on lights while you're on vacation (and it's much cheaper than a smart air conditioner or smart light setup). But if you're more concerned with the aesthetics of controlling a device from your phone or home assistant than with reducing your energy consumption, there's a version without the green feature for only $25.

Artificial Intelligence is Finding its Feet in Retail - The Millennium Alliance


Ikea has started edging its way into smart home products with the recent rollout of a smart lighting system, the Trådfri system, which leverages common ZigBee Light Link technology standards for connected light bulbs. As industries like healthcare, looked to retail for guidance on connecting with the on-demand customer, the retail industry is experimenting with the next stage of digital transformation. With new augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence technology making a splash in 2017, retail is uniquely positioned to take full advantage of these digital tools. PAST DIGITL RETAIL TRANSFORMATION SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Ascena Retail Group Chief Marketing Officer, EVP of Digital Channels – Maurices Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Marketing Officer Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer BJ's Wholesale Club SVP, Marketing Coach Global Chief Marketing Officer Crayola Chief Marketing Officer Frito-Lay, Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Sally Beauty Chief Marketing Officer Sam's Club Chief Member Officer Sears Holdings Corporation President Gifts and Occasions Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

The Future of Productivity: AI and Machine Learning


I wanted to know what the future of artificial intelligence in project management would look like, so I reached out to founders, productivity experts and futurists who work in this space every day to ask what their predictions are for the next five and 10 years. We need to think of productivity systems as supporting systems for our decision process." Related: Rethinking Chatbots: They're Not Just for Customers Mark Mader, CEO at Smartsheet, thinks that thinking of AI as roving robots is missing the point, saying, "Looking further out, there's no doubt that automation -- don't think robots, think removing mundane and unproductive work steps from your day -- will increase. As a form of decision support, productivity expert Carl Pullein thinks that "machine learning and artificial intelligence [will move] towards creating productivity tools that can schedule your meetings and tasks for you and to be able to know what needs to be done based on your context, where you are and what needs to be done."

6 AI-enabled gadgets that are actually helpful


You know about home robots that can help keep your floors tidy, but Kuri is more like a humanoid version of smart home devices like Amazon's Alexa. In addition, Kuri's "eyes" are a camera that takes photos or videos, recognizes faces, and serves as an alarm system when you're not home. That dream is realized with Dashbot, a talking AI dashboard robot that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Dashbot supports a wide variety of platforms, including Amazon's Alexa, Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and ESPN Radio.

Amazon Alexa Update Brings Assistant's Skills To Home Theater TV, AV Receivers

International Business Times

These include Sony 2017 4K TV models, the Logitech Harmony smart remote and BroadLink smart home hubs. Fire TVs and Fire Stick set-top devices have featured Alexa integration on their remotes, allowing users to do basic controls like playback and opening up apps. Within the past year, the company has made significant efforts to bring Alexa onto platforms besides its Echo home speaker. Since formally opening up Alexa skills to developers in 2015, Amazon has benefited from developers who want to integrate the virtual assistant into their products.

The smart pillow that could give you a better night sleep

Daily Mail

The ZEEQ pillow, which was on display at CE Week in Manhattan, can connect to your smartphone, apps, and smart home assistants such as Amazon's Alexa. Using a built-in 3D motion sensor and a related app, ZEEQ can monitor your activity throughout the night to track how hard you snore, how much you're moving, and how much rest you're getting each night In addition to all of the technology, it also contains a removable cover, a comfort foam outer shell, and adjustable comfort fill. In addition to all of the technology, it also contains a removable cover, a comfort foam outer shell, and adjustable comfort fill. The ZEEQ pillow, which was on display at CE Week in Manhattan, can connect to your smartphone, apps, and smart home assistants such as Amazon's Alexa

Prime Day 2017's best smart home deals


Prime Day 2017 is here! This lock works with your phone to give you 24/7 surveillance of your home, and can lock or unlock your door using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant. This Wi-Fi-enabled fan works with Apple HomeKit and other home automation devices. Now that you've made your home smarter, be sure to keep an eye on the @MashableDeals Twitter for the hand-picked best of Prime Day's lightning sales!

Amazon In Your Home: New Tech Support Program Installs Your Alexa-Powered Smart Devices

International Business Times

Amazon has launched an in-home service that'll help users set up their Amazon Echo and integrate the device into their smart home. Read: Here's How To Get Alexa To Tell You When Your Amazon Package Is On Its Way Installation costs for smart home devices through the Amazon program vary depending on the difficulty of the products. For Amazon, the smart home setup program and physically bringing agents into customer home might seem like a step back as companies increasingly turn towards remote assistance. For example, Amazon previously had the Mayday button, which virtually paged an Amazon agent who could provide customer or technical assistance, on its Fire tablets.