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PCWorld

It's been a banner year for the smart home, with new players and new products flooding the market. It's never been easier or less expensive to convert an ordinary home into a technological wonderland. The biggest developments have come with the widespread adoption of voice control, with Amazon's Echo family way out in front in terms of new products and third-party support. But the Noon Lighting System, which shipped late in the year, is easily the most exciting smart home product we've seen to date. We reviewed a lot of great products this year--and we encountered a few dogs as well--but this list represents our picks for the best of the best.


Whirlpool plugs Alexa and Google Assistant into its appliances

Engadget

Whirlpool's smart appliances have already had some voice assistant control, but they're about become particularly AI-savvy. The company has unveiled a 2018 lineup where many appliances support both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you control most of your home using the smart speaker (or mobile app) you prefer. You can check the time left on the washing machine, start the dishwasher or change the temperature of your fridge without lifting a finger.


Whirlpool's smart appliances will be Amazon Alexa-compatible this year

PCWorld

It seems like every other day, a new device gains Amazon Alexa integration. Now Amazon's voice assistant can also control Whirlpool's new washer-dryer pair, and Alexa will come to the rest of Whirlpool's smart appliances later this year. The company is launching 21 new Wi-Fi-connected appliances that will respond to your voice with help from Alexa. For instance, if you're in the middle of mixing cookie dough and want to preheat the oven, you can just holler at Alexa to do it for you. Ask Alexa to set the refrigerator to party mode so you'll have tons of ice at the ready.


CES 2018 Hangover: The Smart Home – Josh – Medium

#artificialintelligence

Nearly every booth / product we saw had voice as a feature for control. This is a big difference compared to last year, when voice and voice assistants were still being touted as an innovative and differentiating feature. While voice control is still very much in the early adopter phase for practical mass-market adoption, it was near ubiquitous at CES. Speaking of voice assistants, the big battle at CES 2018 seemed to be between Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies took different marketing approaches at the trade show. Google opted for the brute force in-your-face spend a ton of money approach. Everywhere you looked, from the billboards on the hotels on the Strip to even the Las Vegas Monorail, Google showed up there.


CES 2018 Hangover: The Smart Home – Josh – Medium

#artificialintelligence

Nearly every booth / product we saw had voice as a feature for control. This is a big difference compared to last year, when voice and voice assistants were still being touted as an innovative and differentiating feature. While voice control is still very much in the early adopter phase for practical mass-market adoption, it was near ubiquitous at CES. Speaking of voice assistants, the big battle at CES 2018 seemed to be between Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies took different marketing approaches at the trade show. Google opted for the brute force in-your-face spend a ton of money approach. Everywhere you looked, from the billboards on the hotels on the Strip to even the Las Vegas Monorail, Google showed up there.