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Smart Home

Amazon Smart Plug showcases simple setup

Among a slew of Amazon devices announced Thursday, the Amazon Smart Plug is a $25 way to introduce your dumb devices to Alexa.

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Ry Crist/CNET

Amazon's surprise devices event Thursday revealed a ton of new Alexa devices. In addition to microwaves, speakers and even a wall clock, Amazon's David Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, announced the $25 Amazon Smart Plug

The Amazon Smart Plug is the first of the company's devices to ship with Wi-Fi Simple Setup, part of an initiative Amazon calls "frustration-free setup." 

Like the company's frustration-free packaging, this streamlined process makes it possible to simply plug in devices and go rather than spend time setting up a device with a companion app. 

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Amazon

The Amazon Smart Plug powers your regular devices like lights, coffee makers or fans and brings them into the smart home

Plug it in, and it looks for the Wi-Fi Simple Setup Network, available if you have an Echo device connected to your home's Wi-Fi. 

Once it receives the encrypted credentials from the cloud, the plug securely connects to the network and your Alexa speaker will recognize it. Once the plug is found, Alexa announces the new connection and asks you if you would like to rename it to something like "living room lamp."

Being able to rename your device by voice is a convenient feature, especially for smart plugs. 

Unlike TVs or speakers, smart plugs nearly always need to take on the name of the device they are powering in order for voice commands to feel natural. Being able to do this without logging in and trudging through an app makes the process quicker and simpler. 

Even with its new, simple setup features, Amazon's Smart Plug isn't the smartest out there. There's no indication of power monitoring, and the plug likely won't work with other voice assistants like Google Assistant or Siri. Still, the price is right and it's an affordable way to smarten dumb devices, especially if you're invested in an Alexa-centered smart home.  

The Amazon Smart Plug is available for preorder starting today for $25 and begins shipping in October. 

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