By WARES December 21, 2017 Smart home & security

A round-up of some of the latest local and international smart homes category news

Echo and Alexa are on their way!

Amazon has revealed that its Echo smart speaker and Alexa voice assistant will be available in New Zealand and Australia “early in the New Year”.

Plus, Alexa will come with “an all-new voice designed for customers in Australia and New Zealand, with local knowledge and skills”.

Amazon will also be making the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) available to developers interested in building skills for customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Details about where they will be on sale and how much they’ll cost weren‘t available as we go to print but it’s likely at least one New Zealand retailer will be involved (possibly more than one based on who’s stocking Kindle products these days) on top of availability through

With as yet no news of Google Home’s availability here and Apple’s HomePod smart speaker being delayed until early 2018, Amazon and Echo could end up as the market makers in this country after all.

Nest Smart Home Products

Nest, Google‘s sister company, has launched in New Zealand. For its debut Nest will be launching a range including Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm which talks to you when there‘s something important you need to know.

Nest Cam Indoor, an always-on camera which helps you not only monitor what‘s happening in your home, but also wants you to talk to it.

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor (photo above) is smart enough to differentiate between a person and your cat, automatically zooming in on and tracking the person in the frame and alerting you accordingly.

Then there’s the weatherproof Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Aware with its advanced cloud algorithms for smarter alerts and video history.

Ring Smart Security Products

Following the success of its Video Doorbell, Ring has released four new “smart” products.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro (see photo below) is a premium device that’s hardwired to an existing doorbell. Pro also has a 160° field of view and HD resolution, along with motion detection and a collection of changeable decorative faceplates.

Ring Floodlight Cam is the world’s only outdoor motion-activated security camera with built-in floodlights, High Definition (HD) camera, a 110 dB siren alarm and two-way audio, so you can see, hear and speak to anyone on your property from anywhere. Floodlight Cam is hard wired.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a 160˚ field of view, and HD resolution. Unlike the original Ring Video Doorbell, the new model has an easily removable, rechargeable battery.

Ring Spotlight Cam offers another level of security around the home with a compact camera offering high quality video and sound with the added bonus of spotlights. A wired version is currently available with solar and battery-powered versions on their way.

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