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Smart Home

Securifi's Almond 3 router hits pre-order, talks to Amazon's Alexa

The Amazon-Alexa-friendly Securifi Almond 3 router/smart home hub is available for pre-order beginning today.

Securifi

Securifi is known for its lineup of touchscreen routers injected with assorted smart home tech. The Almond+ has ZigBee and Z-Wave protocols; the Almond 2015 is Zigbee-only and the all-new Almond 3, announced at CES earlier this year (with retail availability slated for mid-2016), has ZigBee radio and a built-in siren. Bluetooth and Z-Wave support are supposedly available, too, via separate USB dongles.

Now it's nearly time for the Almond 3 to hit stores and the Securifi team is kicking things off with a pre-order period. As of, well, right now, you'll be able to get your very own Almond 3 for $120 and a bundle of three Almond 3's for $300. After the pre-order period ends, prices will jump up to $150 for one unit and $400 for three.

But that's not all. The good folks at Securifi are also launching integrations with all Amazon Alexa products today -- the Echo, the Echo Dot, and the battery-powered Tap. That means you should be able to enable the Almond Alexa Skill for the Almond 3, as well as Securifi's other routers. The specific commands are related to custom scenes and modes, so you could ask Alexa to "Start Almond and activate Dinner Scene," or "Tell Almond to activate Party Scene."

It isn't clear yet if Almond's Alexa Skill can only control devices in scenes or modes that directly integrate with Almond or if it acts as a sort of bridge that makes this sort of control possible for all devices powered through the router. Either way, voice-controlled scenes/modes are a nice addition, but the latter would add a lot more value (especially since Alexa's software can't currently handle scenes/modes).

Add on the Almond 3's proposed partnerships with names like Nest, Philips Hue, Yale, GE, Schlage, Belkin, and Cree and Securifi's latest router is positioned as an intriguing alternative to standalone smart home hubs like Samsung's SmartThings and Wink. We're tracking down a review unit now, so check back soon for our hands-on impressions.