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This company makes it easy to build an Alexa-powered smart home

Piecing together a smart home shouldn't be hard. And yet it is, because there's no one company that makes everything you need.

You've got to decide what smart home platform to buy into, and if you want a voice assistant to connect all your various devices, like smart light bulbs, plugs, speakers, etc. Then you have to figure out how they all connect together (usually through poorly designed apps).

Accessory and appliance maker Anker wants to fix that with its Eufy sub-brand, which aims to be your one-stop shop for your entire smart home. The company's new Genie, a smaller and cheaper Amazon Echo Dot clone, connects to all of its own smart home devices effortlessly.

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Anker built its expansive empire by selling quality battery packs for less than brand names like Mophie, and now it's practically a brand name itself. Though it's now more well-known, it hasn't lost sight of why people buy its products: they're cheap.

After quality, price is the top reason why people choose Anker products and the Genie is no different. It'll cost $35, which is $15 cheaper than the $50 Echo Dot, when it comes out on Aug. 16.

The Dot clone is a little larger than Amazon's puck-shaped smart speaker, but not by much. Most importantly, it works exactly the same. Everything you can do with Alexa on the Dot, you can do with the Genie, which means it has access to the same 15,000 Alexa skills, like ordering pizza from Domino's with a voice command.

The best reason to buy a Genie is that it'll connect to a bunch of Eufy's upcoming Alexa-powered smart home devices. No more connecting third-party apps to Alexa or managing different brands and platforms. You can still do that with Genie, but why would you wanna go through the hassle? As someone who has a few different smart home devices and hubs connected to his Echo, I can tell you that it's a pain in the butt. Eufy's simplifying it all.

"Genie is the core of the Eufy smart home system, but this is just the beginning," Steven Yang, CEO of Anker, said in a press release. "Eufy users should expect a complete line of smart devices in the coming weeks, including smart light wall plugs, light bulbs, and even an Alexa-enabled version of our flagship product, the RoboVac 11."

It's an ambitious goal, but Anker's well-positioned to succeed if only because nobody else is trying. Amazon and Google (and Apple soon) sell the best smart speakers you can buy, but they don't sell you the other parts that complete a smart home. 

With Genie and all of the smart home devices it's planning to release, Anker's selling you the full package for a whole lot less than buying all the parts from different companies. It's about time somebody tries to make setting up a smart home as easy as 1-2-3. 

I haven't tried the Genie in person yet so I can't say if Alexa is as responsive as on the Dot, but if Anker's history of putting quality first is anything to go by, it should be fine. I own several Anker products including its non-Wi-Fi version of the RoboVac and I've never had any problems.

Resource: mashable.comClick and hold, then select [Extract QR code] to follow TechPapa