Episode 161: Amazon’s Alexa Blueprints, home robots and more

This week’s show finds me in Sweden pondering Alexa Blueprints, the Amazon Echo for kids and Amazon’s smart robot plans. Kevin and I talked about all of that, before showcasing new research for IoT out of Carnegie Mellon, the University of Washington, and Princeton. Two senators proposed a social media data sharing law that appears to ignore the IoT, Comcast reported growth in home automation subscribers, a few gadgets got new features and there’s a new version of a popular IoT chip that can handle mesh Wi-Fi. Kevin changes his smart home platform and we advise someone on a connected kitchen renovation.

The IKEA Tradfri lights have expanded to include colors and wall-mounted flat lights.

Our guests this week are from IKEA with Rebecca Toreman, who heads up the IKEA Tradfri products and Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager IKEA of Sweden. Toreman gives us a Tradfri update after a year on the market, while Pripp-Kovac offers valuable tips on how to design connected products with sustainability in mind. It left me questioning how I think about many connected devices. Enjoy the show.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guests: Rebecca Toreman and Lena Pripp-Kovac of IKEA
Sponsors: Forgerock and Twilio

  • Alexa for kids and the home robot debate reignites
  • Smart walls, power-saving cameras and IoT security
  • Kevin is dumping SmartThings for Wink
  • IKEA’s next smart home area could be health
  • How to design a sustainable connected product

Published by

Stacey Higginbotham

I am a journalist who has covered technology for over a decade at publications such as Fortune, PCMag, Gigaom, The Deal and BusinessWeek.

One thought on “Episode 161: Amazon’s Alexa Blueprints, home robots and more”

  1. Very cool and informative podcast.

    Stacey, I hope you got a chance to tour around Switzerland while you are there. Stanserhorn is a very cool place to look down from. Lake Lucerne is beautiful place to take a boat ride.

    Bummer Kevin is dumping SmartThings. I had a grabbed a hub to work with some WeMo lights I bought at discount sometime back but now I’m questioning that. I’m not too sure about Wink though.

    The Amazon Robot sounds very cool. A Vesta bot with a Madam ‘A’ implementation would be very cool. Hopefully it is as cute as a Kuri Home Bot though. Could this be next big thing in smart home appliances?

    Okay, you had called it, I am one of those folks that have played a bit with one of there thar ESP8266 thingamabobs which I had controlling a RGB LED via OpenHAB. However, since these are cheap, they have made their way into some smart commercial devices. The Sonoff connected devices, mentioned sometime back in another post, are examples of a consumer product that uses the ESP8266.

    I’m sure you guys have seen Jonathan Oxer’s SuperHouseTV VideoBlog, but he has covered the Sonoff devices in some vids.

    Sorry, I just had too much to post.

    Thanks for making my Thursday walkabout informative.



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