Why You Should Own an Amazon Echo & How Samsung’s Arrival Sensor Can Keep Your Family Safe

Favorite Amazon Echo Skills

I don’t know about you, but if I could control everything in my home via voice activation I’d be a happy woman. From the television to the lights and maybe even the dishwasher and shower, I often daydream about how nice it would be to use my voice for something more productive than yelling at my teenager to wake up or at the dog to stop barking. A totally interactive home, now that’s what dreams are made of. Well, that and a home that’s maybe cleaned by someone other than me, but that’s a post for a different day. Unless someone invents a voice-activated robot to do the job because then I’m totally in!

Is the Amazon Echo Worth the Money?

It isn’t like smart home technology doesn’t already exist, it just doesn’t exist a whole lot in my home. I hope to change that in the future, but for now I love the Amazon Echo. It was a gift I purchased a while back for my husband, but I think we all know who’s been using it the most. Alexa and I have a good relationship and she’s mostly a pretty great home assistant, which is why this device is so popular. If you don’t already have one you should totally get one, you know, as a gift for someone else because you’re awesome and generous. I think we might need to pick up the newest Echo Dot so we can have another toy in the house. It’s nice by itself or as a companion to the Echo, but at a much more affordable price. They can stream music, keep track of lists, provide weather and sport updates, and even set a timer. Seriously, they don’t call it a smart home assistant for nothing. If you want to have a little fun you can even ask Alexa to tell you a joke. She’ll have you laughing for hours. Well, maybe not hours, but at least a few minutes. Here’s a little sampling of Alexa’s mad skills.


Smart Home Security Devices

If you’d like a device that can keep track of your home and offer a little security and peace of mind then you might consider something from the Samsung Smart Things line. Their products include Motion Sensor, Water Leak Sensor, and Arrival Sensor and the best part is that they are all reasonably priced (under $40 each) and can be voice-controlled via the Amazon Echo regardless of whether you are at home or not.

Samsung Gear S2 vs Apple Watch Series 2

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my Samsung Gear S2, but if you’re more of an iOS person then you might like the Apple Watch Series 2. It’s a great device for tracking and sharing your daily physical activity, recording your workouts, staying in touch with the friends and family who matter most to you, and keeping an eye on your overall health. It’s available at a price range of $369-$399.

If the idea of technology, including the newer trend of voice-activated devices, leaves you feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed then you should consider attending a free Device Workshop hosted by U.S. Cellular. The best part is that they could be available near your home and you don’t have to be a current U.S. Cellular customer to attend.

Do you have any voice-activated technology in your home? If so, what’s your favorite and if not, which device would you like to own?

Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but all opinions and humor are mine. 



  1. We have looked into this. I would love to have sensors for when I’m not home to monitor the house.

    • Me too, Ashley. Not only would be fun to keep track of things on my phone, but it would also offer peace of mind for an economical price.

  2. I love the idea of all those security sensors. Definitely an attractive feature of the Echo. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Rebecca Bryant says

    My brother just got an Echo and loves it. I keep thinking about it so this may just have convinced me.

  4. I have to look into some of these. I have been curious about the Echo. Sounds so cool!

    • It really IS so cool, Milena. I love all the great useful skills, but it’s also been fun for the entire family. You need to get one!

  5. It’s amazing how far technology has come! I know a lot of people who have the Echo and swear by it. I can see why!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..heifer international invites you to #joinhertribeMy Profile

    • So true, Lois. I couldn’t even imagine something so advanced growing up in the 70s and 80s, but now I don’t know how we ever lived without it.

  6. I am into voice command, too. Speak to text is my favorite tool on my phone and I am very intrigued by Alexa. I’m hoping to get an Echo soon.
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    • Ooh, I like speak to text as well, even if it doesn’t always get what I say quite right. The Echo is definitely a bit pricey for some people, but it’s also great for the entire family. My son with autism is in awe of her!

  7. Aargh, I had to read this didn’t I? I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an Amazon Echo for a while now, and I think you just convinced me to order one 😀

    Louise x
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    • Yay! I’m glad I could help nudge you in the right direction, Louise. And honestly, *she* does so much more than I talked about in this post. So many possibilities!

  8. We actually looked into this but because we are in Canada we weren’t sure if we could use it or not.
    Any ideas? I would love to have everything all in one easy location and this looks great.

    • Are you referring to the Echo, Heather? If so, I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to use it in Canada as long as you have an internet connection.

  9. Reesa Lewandowski says

    I am intrigued by the sensors! I need to look into this more! I really had no idea the echo could do all of the things you mention!

    • Oh my gosh, the Echo can do all I mentioned and a LOT more. I seriously need to devote an entire post to my love for her and all her skills.

  10. Jacqui Odell says

    I have an echo and I love it. So do my kids. They are always asking it to tell them jokes.

  11. So, I don’t have an Echo yet, but now I totally want one. I think it’s a need at this point. Haha!
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  12. I love my Alexa, but I haven’t yet ventured into her smart home features. Thanks for sharing this. It’s food for thought.

  13. I have always wondered how Amazon Echo and Alexa worked. This sounds awesome! I need to consider getting one.

  14. Reesa Lewandowski says

    Wow! I have an Amazon Echo and I had no idea Alexa could do these things! I knew I wasn’t using her to the full potential!

  15. And to think that I’m just getting accustomed with Serie. I’ve heard Alexa is really great.
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  16. Ashley Mullins says

    We bought my MIL an Echo and she loves it. I think we are going to get one too now! Thanks for these extra tips!

  17. We have the Amazon Alexa (does all the same things as the echo), and LOVE it. I cannot say enough about it. We are thinking of doing a very similar security setup with it, too. I use the Echo every day. It’s a great personal assistant – and will even read me books in my Kindle library – very hand for cookbooks while I am cooking.
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  18. I have a few relatives that have an Amazon Echo and they love theirs! It seems to have a ton of great features and things you can easily have it work with it.
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  19. I love using Samsung Gear S2 vs Apple Watch Series 2 so much! They allow us to keep in touch with the friends and family and keep an eye on our overall health.
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  20. I want a Amazon Echo so bad! I’ve heard SO many great things about it and I know I can benefit from it in many ways.

  21. I have to admit, the Amazon Echo scares me! There is all this news about how they can listen in on your conversations. Maybe it is OK for now, but the fact that it is getting more and more popular is worrying…
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  22. I don’t have an Echo yet, but I need to find one now! 🙂

  23. Sound good , Thanks for extra tips. i really need it

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  25. I’m a really huge fan of smart Bluetooth speakers especially the once that have voice controls. I only see the voice control of Amazon Echo as its only coolest feature. But your article here has shown me other amazing feature that it can do. It makes it more than just a smart speaker.
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  26. This is really nice content

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