The Covi lamp is another smart way to smuggle Alexa into your home

Senic's smart home hub blends into the home decor
Covi's Alexa smart hub doubles as a lamp

More and more, the alternative smart home players are emerging, and the latest is Berlin-based Senic, which has just put up its Covi smart hub-cum-smart lamp on Kickstarter.

The Covi hub that comes running Amazon's Alexa, so you'll be able to issue voice commands, but its big sell is that it's built on an open source platform called Home Assistant, which means it can be integrated with a wide range of smart home services like Nest and Sonos.

Read this: The best smart home systems

There's also an IFTTT-type rule engine that will let you set events based on times of commands. For example, making sure that in the evening it automatically turns on the lights and puts on your 'smooth grooves' playlist.

As it doubles as a lamp, Covi is meant to blend in with the rest of your home decor. As much as we love the Echo, it still stands out as a piece of tech (Google Home kind of gets away with it by looking like an air freshener), so concealing it inside a lamp is smart. As a bonus it can automatically adjust its brightness throughout the day to match your natural cycles.

It's live on Kickstarter now with an early bird price of £87. Senic says it'll be adding support for more voice assistants beyond Alexa (so we expect Google Assistant) in 2018. If you've already got one of Senic's Nuimo smart home controllers, it'll work with that too.


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