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C by GE

C by GE

C by GE

GE announced on December 6th 2016 a new line up complementing their C by GE products. GE Lighting already released Bluetooth controller bulbs earlier this year, but now they claim, that they redefined smart living with their new product line.

This new product line is a light with embedded Amazon Alexa functionality. Amazon released their integration options for Alexa Voice services and GE integrated that functionality into their new lighting product.

C by GE Smart Living

“We’re really inspired by voice as an incredible new user interface. We’re giving people an alternative by having this combination for the first time,” Jeff Patton, GE Lighting’s GM for Connected Home Products.

The exact launch date has not been determined yet but according to Jeff Patton, GE is targeting Quarter 1 in 2017. He didn’t reveal the price point either, but he did hint that it will be below $180 dollars.

This new product is already published on the C by GE website and a video has been released as well, highlighting the combination of Alexa Voice services and GE lighting. In addition to that, you can download the C by GE app in the Play Store for Android phones and looking deeper into their app, you can find circadian rhythm and follow the sun concepts.

GE is claiming that “almost” all Alexa services will be available on this new product line. The assumption here would be, that GE did not sign up for the music services of the Alexa Voice service, as this product is a lighting product and not a speaker for playing music.

On the other hand having the Smart Home functionality in Alexa embedded in this lighting product would make sense. So rather making assumptions, let’s wait for the official release.


Disclaimer: This blog and tweets represent my own view points and not of my employer, Amazon Web Services.

Chinese Alexa or Chinese Google Home

Chinese Alexa or Chinese Google Home

With Google Home entering the VCD (Voice Command Device) market, people assumed that there will be a rivalry between Google and Amazon. Out of the blue a third competitor entered the stage out of China. This device named “Ling Long Ding Dong” (name is for real) will address the Chinese VCD market.

The DingDong, which costs the equivalent of $118, provides news, weather, and stock updates. It answers questions, manages schedules, provides directions, and plays music and audiobooks. It is the first product from Beijing LingLong Co., a $25 million joint venture between, China’s largest online retailer, and voice recognition powerhouse iFlytek.

The gadget weighs about 3 pounds and stands 9.5 inches tall. It is circular at the top and square on the bottom, and available in white, red, black, and purple. The shape symbolizes tiānyuán dìfāng—the notion that “heaven is round, Earth is square,” a concept that Liu says is central to LingLong’s design language. The colors also are imbued with meaning; white is associated with purity, and red with prosperity.

Three commands wake the device: DingDong DingDong, Xiaowei Xiaowei (a girl’s nickname), and BaiLing BaiLing(skylark). The DingDong comes in Mandarin and Cantonese versions (the engines required to understand the languages are too complex to include them both in one device). Most people speak Mandarin, and the myriad accents and dialects present a Herculean challenge. Still, the company claims the DingDong understands roughly 95 percent of the population.

The company will have their own skill market place, which will include applications and skills for home automation.

Alexa on your smartwatch

Alexa on your smartwatch

A Chinese company is about to release a new smartwatch which is integrated with Alexa from Amazon (Echo) called “CoWatch”. Here are the details published from their Indigo crowd funding page.



Speak, and CoWatch will listen. With a built in dynamic speaker – and as the first smartwatch to integrate Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, you can ask for a traffic report, control connected devices, make a phone call to a friend, order a taxi to your home, pay your bills, and so much more. As long as your CoWatch is connected to a WiFI network or to your phone with a data connection, Alexa will be on!

Your smart home is at your fingertips. The power of Bluetooth 4.1 and cloud connectivity lets you dim the lights, check on your car, turn up the heat, and interact with the devices, products, and services that matter to you most.

Friends encourage friends to stay healthy. Be proactive and let CoWatch sweat the small stuff. CoWatch can track your calories burned, count your steps, even monitor your heart rate after and during a workout. Using a nine-axis accelerometer, digital compass and gyroscope, as well as heart rate sensor and vibro motor, CoWatch can help you keep track of every move.


Maximize efficiency and connect with a simple touch. Send a quick response through text message, check your emails, review your calls on your phone, connect to your favourite streaming service, and turn on your favorite song – CoWatch can do it all.

CoWatch unites classic watch design with state of the art technology. Elegantly constructed and at a price point that competes with other luxury brands, you have a choice between carbon black or mineral silver stainless steel, with a fracture-resistant zirconia composite ceramic body for excellent wireless signal (2.4G 802.11 b/g/n). The vivid super AMOLED 400 x 400 high-resolution touch screen has an interchangeable and reactive watch face, catering to your mood, experience, and look, from day to night.


This is definitely a new concept given that Siri from Apple and Google NOW are already in smartwatches. The question is how useful or beneficial this concept will be. Reading their funding campaign made me excited about their product as this really sounds very interesting and then I started thinking about my personal application of that product.

From a personal perspective I bought the Gear 1 years ago and I was able to control my home with Google NOW until Samsung decided to kick Android OS out and replace it with their own OS called Tizen. That integration stopped working after the change of OS but other options became available e.g. IFTT, etc.  The point was to be able to have your home automation at your fingertips and/or use voice with your watch to control your home.

CoWatch_3Now, let’s look at CoWatch with this in mind. You can use CoWatch to get Alexa functionality at your wrist. I already have 2 Alexa’s in my home and I can use my voice to control my complete home. There are some rooms where using Alexa via the watch might be useful e.g. the Garage, Laundry room, etc but personally I don’t see the benefit of having an Alexa on my wrist while being at home as I can simply speak louder and Alexa will pick it up anyways. Alexa’s voice recognition range is simply awesome. This might be different if you would only have one Alexa for your whole home and you want to control your home from every single room at any point in time.

The other use case would be to be able to control your home while on the road but in that case you already have your smart phone with your favorite home automation application and if you went all the way, you already have voice control on your phone for your smart home like Tasker + AutoVera or the Siri Integration with Vera.


  1. At home your cell phone might not be next to you so your watch voice control might become handy but again Alexa has a large voice recognition range already.
  2. Not being at home you have your cell phone most likely on you and with the Siri or Google NOW integration you already control your home via voice.

Let’s see how their product will get accepted in the market especially with Alexa’s unprecedented growth and given that Amazon has published APIs for integration other smartwatch vendors might follow.

Disclaimer: This blog and tweets represent my own view points and not of my employer, Amazon Web Services.

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