Building an Alexa-Powered Electric Blanket

by @edent | # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~3,400 times.

One evening, my wife turned to me in bed and said, "Winter is coming..." Well, what she actually said was "Get your frozen feet away from me, you cold-blooded monster!" The only way to save our marriage? HOOK OUR BED UP TO THE INTERNET! I couldn't find an electric blanket with IoT connectivity - so […]

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Knowledge Illusions

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~281 times.
Screenshot of the Alexa app. She thinks Tim Roth played Doctor Who.

Optical Illusions trick your brain into seeing something that isn't there. Whether it is spirals which don't exist, movements which don't occur, or faces in curved lines - our optic centres are trivially easy to fool. Humans are not alone in this cognitive deficiency. Other animals are also conned into believing something which isn't true. […]

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Solar Battery and Alexa - in 30 lines of code

by @edent | # # # # # # # | Read ~101 times.
A list of phrases used to activate the device

Amazon Alexa is a fun little bit of kit. But it can be tricky getting it to work with all your smart devices. Not every company has an Alexa skill - just like not every company has an app. Using Flask-Ask it is possible to bring Alexa smarts to a range of previously mute devices. […]

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Alexa - what bin day is it?

by @edent | # # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~682 times.

Bin day is the most magical time of the week! Children of all ages cry "Which bins is it?! Oh! Which bins?" Is today recycling day? Or green waste day? Or humble landfill day? Should my food caddy go out? Gosh! Who can keep track? I mean, obviously I could look at my calendar. Or […]

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UK Flood Forecast on Amazon Alexa

by @edent | # # # | Read ~200 times.

You can now get the UK's flood forecast as part of your Flash Briefing on Amazon's Alexa. I've tried previously to create an interactive Alexa skill - it did not go well. This time, I thought I'd create an easier skill - a Flash Briefing. You ask Alexa for your daily news report and it […]

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Alexa powered smarthome control for Sonoff

by @edent | # # # # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~4,320 times.

I've been sent a couple of Sonoff smarthome gadgets. You can read my review of the S20 WiFi plug socket and the POW in line power controller. Here's a video of me controlling them from my Amazon Alexa: The latency seems a little slow - hard to tell if that's Amazon only relying on US […]

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Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~11,321 times.

I can now query my solar panels via my Alexa Amazon Dot Echo thingie (why so many names?). I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but fuck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the […]

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