Alexa-equipped Triby IO could be the easiest way to control your smart home

Part wireless speaker, part memo system, part smart home hub

So, my fancy smart home, packed full of Internet of Things devices… how will I control them all?

That’s a pertinent, oft-asked question, and it’s one a lot of tech companies are trying to answer. The obvious way to do it is control software for your smartphone, tablet or computer – but it’s not the only viable approach. Take the Triby IO from Invoxia, just launched at CES 2017, for instance.

It looks like an internet radio circa 2008…

Well, internet radio is one of its talents. But there are many, and its most valuable one might be its ability to control all manner of smart home gear: its IFTTT (If This Then That) compatibility means it’s compatible with tons of connected tech, from Philips Hue lights to Belkin WeMo cookers to your Fitbit activity tracker. The aim is to make it a universal interface for all manner of different smart home hardware.

But how do I actually interact with it?

Alexa. Yes, like a lot of stuff on show at CES 2017, the Triby IO comes with Amazon’s ineffably smart voice assistant built in, allowing you to use natural commands and questions to pal up with your tech. The idea is to remove physical remote controls – like your smartphone – from the equation entirely.

That sounds admirable – if it works properly. And you mentioned “many talents” earlier…?

I did. The Triby IO also works as a portable wireless speaker, featuring FM and internet radio, Spotify Connect and Audible audiobook compatibility. And like the original Invoxia Triby, it works as a sort of home memo system, allowing you to create and leave messages for family members on its low-energy E Ink screen.

Sounds versatile. When’s it out?

Spring 2017, priced at £159 (RM865). Stick around for local pricing and availability.