Andrew wants to know if the Amazon Echo will work with an home automation hub. Leo says that Smart Things and WeMo hubs both support the Amazon Echo. Leo advises going to the Amazon Echo site to see which hubs are supported. But Smart Things is the right way to go and it will work with your smartphone.
Kenny wants to integrate his Amazon Echo with his Sonos system. Leo says that the challenge is that it has a proprietary networking system between speakers. Sonos has promised that integration soon, but it isn't been released yet. When it does, it should be awesome. Meanwhile, Kenny could try the Chromecast Audio.
Jim has an Amazon Echo and wants to know how he can find out if a skill is good or not. Are there reviews anywhere? He also wants to know if there's a way to play audio from YouTube. Leo says he could pair his Echo to his phone and play it that way. It can then work as a Bluetooth device. There may not be a YouTube skill yet, though.
A local TV news segment told the story of a girl who talked to Amazon Echo and accidentally ordered hundreds of dollars in toys and cookies through the automatic ordering feature. In doing so, the radio station triggered homes all over San Diego that have Amazon Echo to do the same thing. Leo says it's important to make sure you have parental controls on to avoid this, and to train yourself to not use the "A" word when talking about things it may mistakenly use to order for you.
Curtis is a podcaster and uses a Heil PR40 for his microphone. Leo says that podcasting is fun when you're not trying to make a living at it. It's work if he wants to make it into a job, and a tough one at that.
What about the Amazon Tap? Leo says that the only difference between the Dot and the Tap is the battery. The Tap is portable, but it doesn't listen all the time. It only responds when you press a button. How should he set up the Echo? Leo says to just call it Echo, but he'll have to avoid using that word while podcasting.
Dave is looking to get his daughter a Polaroid type camera for Christmas. Leo says the Polaroid Pic is very popular and prints small business sized photos. The trick may be finding film, but instant cameras are coming back, so that may not be an issue. The film isn't cheap, however. Kids think they're fun. Leo says they're a great idea for teenagers.
Cindy wants to know about the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the cool thing about the Echo is that Amazon opened it up to create more functions for it, called "Skills." To date, the Amazon Echo has over 3,000 skills it can handle. If she's an Amazon Prime member, she can tell it to buy stuff and ship it to her. She can tell it to stream music, too. If she has a stereo system, she can save money and get the Amazon Dot and plug it in.
Pete is trying to decide between Amazon Echo or Google Home. Leo says he'd definitely pick the Echo. The Echo Dot, a smaller and less expensive version of the Echo, is designed to connect into a speaker system. It's also only $50. It's way ahead of Google Home with hundreds of tasks and recipes that enable Echo to do a variety of things. Google Home is way too new, but chances are, it'll get smarter quicker. Pete could connect the Echo Dot to a speaker and he'll have a stereo. It's amazing.
Ellie likes the idea of Google Assistant and wonders if it will be coming to home automation like the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the Amazon Echo is a great device and it keeps getting smarter. As for Google Assistant, Google's goal is to have it everywhere, so it likely will be.
Ellie also wants to know if AT&T buying Time Warner will affect her internet access. Leo says no, Time Warner sold it off to Spectrum. The $80 Billion acquisition of Time Warner is all about content.
Ricardo got an Amazon Echo for his birthday and he loves it. He's wondering how smart it can get, though. Leo says it can play music, get the weather, and hundreds of other information gathering techniques based on Echo "recipes." It's getting smarter. Artificial intelligence, thanks to machine learning, is growing by leaps and bounds, except for Siri on the Apple platform. Siri is actually getting dumber because Apple values privacy more than gathering the data needed to make it smarter.