GE's Alexa-integrated lamp to light up in September
From smiling robots to vacuum cleaners and cars, Alexa has found its way into a variety of products already. Given the adaptability of Amazon's personal assistant, it was only a matter of time before a light was added to the list. The C by GE Sol was teased last year, but the production version has now been unveiled sporting a slightly more slender design.
Given it integrates Alexa, the Sol has the same basic skillset as the ever-expanding range of Amazon-infused smart home gadgets. That means you can use it to order more toilet paper, play music or ask for the latest weather, and it responds like any Amazon Echo device.
With the giant light ring at its disposal, GE has also managed to integrate a clever visual response into the Sol repertoire as well. When you ask it the time, the lamp will light up where the hands would point on a clock. Although there's no real practical benefit, it's a cool take on an otherwise mundane task nonetheless, and GE says the range of lighting-based responses will grow with time.
Beyond its (admittedly limited) lighting-based feedback, GE is claiming the Sol will help tailor its glow for a better night's sleep. With the right bulb installed, the lamp emits a warm, yellow glow before bedtime and a cooler, more vibrant light to inspire an energetic feeling in the morning. The temperature of the light can be tuned manually, too, using voice commands or the C by GE app. This sort of light-tweaking functionality has been around for a while in products like the Philips Hue line, but those systems aren't voice activated.
Although it doesn't do much more than your average Amazon Echo, the Sol won't be cheap when it ships in September. Pricing starts at US$199, but GE is currently offering a 20 percent discount to early adopters who join a pre-launch waitlist.