Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Canary, meet Alexa and WeMo

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.


My home is pretty dumb, but it’s slowly getting smarter. As frequent readers will know, I live in a one bedroom apartment, so most automation tasks stem out of curiosity than actual utility.

Previously I’d mentioned my disappointment that my Canary home security device1 didn’t really play with any of my other gear, but I didn’t realize until today that Canary had previously added support for home automation protocol Wink.2 Wink connects to IFTTT, which in turn connects to my Amazon Echo.

I think you can see where this is going: I can now arm, disarm, or engage Canary’s privacy mode via voice commands to Alexa3. Moreover, I also integrated it with my WeMo light switch so that when my office light automatically turns off at night, the Canary is automatically armed.

The more I play around with connected home devices, the more interesting I find them. I had never used Wink before, but its app is actually pretty slick.

Next task: find a way to remotely activate my Breville tea-maker from the comfort of my bed. I think I may need a robot.4

  1. Full disclosure: Canary sponsored several episodes of my podcast The Rebound, and sent units to all of the hosts. 
  2. Wink, WeMo, Weave–why so many W’s in home automation?! 
  3. No, I’m not telling you what code phrases I use. 
  4. Or not. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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