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SmartThings was one of the first smart home systems used to automate your home. While you could launch the SmartThings mobile app and interact with your devices, why go to all that effort when you can control your smart home using your voice? In this article you’ll learn how to connect your SmartThings network to your Amazon Alexa device.

Once you’ve made this connection, you’ll be able to interact with all of your smart devices using Alexa commands – whether it’s checking the status of doors and windows, booting up your smart TV, playing music or performing other essential home automation tasks, You’ll learn how to create a completely hands-free smart home.

Enable the SmartThings skill

The first step is to give your Amazon Alexa the tools it needs to connect to SmartThings:

1. If you haven’t already, install the Amazon Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.

2. Launch the Alexa app and log in using your Amazon username and password.

3. In the bottom-right corner, give the “Devices” icon a tap, and then select “Your Smart Home Skills.”

4. Tap “Enable Smart Home Skills.”

5. In the toolbar, select the magnifying glass and type “SmartThings.” When SmartThings appears, give it a tap.

6. Select “Enable to use.”

7. When prompted, log into either your Samsung or your SmartThings account.

After a few moments, you should see the following message: “Alexa has been successfully linked with SmartThings.” Exit the current screen by tapping the “X” icon.

Discover smart home devices, Scenes and Routines

Next, your Amazon Alexa needs to discover all the smart devices on your network, including your SmartThings Hub. Although this feature is called “Discover Devices,” it will also discover any Scenes or Routines that you’ve created for your smart home automation network:

1. After tapping the “X” icon, you should automatically be redirected to Alexa’s “Discover Devices” screen.

2. Give the “Discover Devices” button a tap.

3. Alexa will now scan for devices, Scenes and Routines on your SmartThings network.

If the Amazon Alexa app doesn’t automatically redirect you to the “Discover Devices” screen, then you can navigate to this screen manually:

4. In the bottom-right corner of the Alexa app, select “Devices.”

5. Scroll the bar at the top of the screen and select “All Devices” when it appears.

6. Give the little “+” icon a tap.

7. Tap “Add Device.”

Alexa will now perform a scan, and after a few moments it should display some information about all the devices, Scenes and Routines it’s discovered.

Interacting with your smart home

Once Alexa is successfully connected to SmartThings, you can interact with all of your compatible smart devices using vocal commands. For example, you might tell Alexa to dial down the brightness on your Philips Hue lights or ask her to run your “Good Morning” routine.

The tasks you can perform with Alexa will vary depending on which smart devices, Scenes and Routines are present on your network, but in a previous tutorial we looked at how you can monitor door-open and -close events, using the SmartThings Multipurpose sensor.

You can now ask Alexa to check whether this door is open or closed. For example, I attached the Multipurpose sensor to an exterior door in my conservatory, so I can just ask, “Alexa, is the conservatory door open?” and Alexa will provide an answer.

This can be useful for quickly and easily getting a status update on the various doors, windows and devices spread throughout your home; however, you may want to take things to the next level and use Alexa to control your smart home.

Triggering routines and modes with Alexa

In this final section we’re going to create a “Good Night” routine that will place your home into “Night” mode. When the house is in Night mode, SmartThings will monitor the door sensor and send you a smartphone notification if that door is ever opened in the middle of the night.

Since we’ve connected SmartThings with Alexa, we’ll be able to trigger this routine using a vocal command – for example: “Alexa, run Good Night.”

To complete this section, I’m going to use SmartThings’ ready-made “Night” mode and “Good Night!” routine and build on the work we did in the previous tutorial.

In this first step we need to set SmartThings’s “Night” mode to trigger automatically whenever we run the “Good Night” routine:

1. In the SmartThings Classic app, navigate to “Automation.”

2. Find the “Good Night!” routine and give its accompanying cog icon a tap.

3. Tap “Change the mode to” and make sure it’s set to “Night.”

4. Tap “Save.”

Now, whenever we run the “Good Night” routine, our smart home network will switch to “Night” mode.

Monitoring the front door

We now need to activate the door monitoring rule when our home is in “Night” mode:

1. In the SmartThings app, select the “Dashboard” tab.

2. Tap the “Home Solutions” card.

3. Tap the cog icon.

4. Select “Custom,” followed by the rule you created in our previous tutorial, which in my instance is “Conservatory opening.”

You’ll now receive a notification if this door is opened while the house is in “Night” mode. However, we’re not done yet! Let’s look at how we can trigger the “Good Night” routine, using an Alexa command.

Teach Alexa some new commands

The final step is teaching Alexa to respond to our vocal command:

1. Launch the Alexa app.

2. Tap the lined icon in the upper-left corner, and select “Routines.”

3. Tap the little “+” icon.

4. Tap “Enter routine name” and give this routine a name; I’m using “Good night.”

6. Enter the phrase that will trigger this routine; I’m using “Alexa, run good night.”

10. Tap “Save.”

And that’s it! To put your new routine to the test:

Launch the SmartThings Classic app.

Make sure you’re in any mode other than “Night” mode.

Tell Alexa to put your house into Night mode – for example, I’m using the vocal command “Alexa, run good night.”

You should now see the SmartThings app switch to Night mode. If you open your door or window while in this mode, then you should receive a notification on your smartphone.

Wrapping Up

You learned how to control your smart home using vocal commands by connecting Samsung SmartThings and Amazon Alexa. Now that your Alexa and SmartThings are chatting away, you can keep adding new Routines and Modes and triggering them using custom Alexa commands. You may want to learn to use Alexa to become an intercom.

Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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How To Sell On Amazon With Amazon Seller Account

How To Sell on Amazon With Amazon Seller Account

Here in this article, you will find a step-by-step guide to create an Amazon seller account.

Pre-Requisites of Amazon Merchant Account Business Information

You’ll need to have a legal business name, address and business contact information.

Business Email Address Bank Account With Credit/Debit Card Registered Phone Number

A registered phone number is required that is operational 24/7 for all major communications and notifications. Amazon will also contact you during the registration process to become an Amazon seller.

Tax ID / GSTIN #

Sales tax number, Social Security number, State Tax ID, company’s Federal Tax ID number or GSTIN needs to be ready before signing up for an Amazon merchant account. If you have any of them missing, you will need to apply for the same immediately. A Chartered Accountant (CA) can be a better help in setting up your papers.

Identity Proofs

Your Address proof, Identity proofs are required to set up your Amazon merchant account. Voter ID Card, Driving Licence, Electricity Bill, Gas Bill or SSN ID card can be an option.

How to Create an Amazon Seller Account

You can create an Amazon seller account with $39.99 a month plus fees on selling products on Amazon. Simply go to Amazon Seller Central and the ‘Start Selling Button.

It will ask you to login with your account or create a new one. Once you are logged on to Amazon seller central, it will ask you to select a business location and business type. Here you need to enter the registered location of your business, else you can simply select your country of residence.

If you are not planning for a seasonal account and want to create an account for the long run, a Professional Account would be the better option.

It will cost you $39.99 a month.

Professional Account removes the $0.99 per item sold fee.

It allows you to sell a product in more than one category.

It allows you to create the Buy Box for your product.

Also Read: Find What Amazon Knows About You

If you have 40 orders a month, the fee for the Professional account is already recovered. It will definitely be profitable to have a Professional account in the longer run.

Checklist to Register for Amazon Seller Account

Before you jump on to create an Amazon global selling account, there are a few Amazon analytics that you should perform.

Decide your Product Category with a proper research

Choose the appropriate Amazon selling plan for your business

Identify top-selling products on Amazon store

Know your competitors on Amazon global selling platform

Plan a strategy to promote Amazon products

Explore Amazon return policy and all other policies

Clear all your doubts with Amazon seller customer care

Create an Amazon seller account with proper documentation

Start selling products on Amazon marketplace

Register the same products on other e-commerce websites

Policies You Should Know to Become an Amazon Seller?

Running a great business is not possible without policies, rules, and regulations. There are some policies you should be aware of before you start selling on Amazon. It will ask you to log in to your Amazon Seller Account to go through these policies.

Selling Policies

Policies and Agreements

Product Detail Page Rules

Category, Product, and Listing Restrictions

Prohibited Seller Code of Conduct

Shipping Policies

You will need to spend some time to understand these policies and abide by the rules set by Amazon to keep your account active and earn some profit on the page.

Wrapping Up

We hope this short-yet-simple guide turns out to be helpful to you and  things don’t look confusing when you go to Amazon seller central to sign up for a new account. Start selling on Amazon with top-selling items on Amazon and make huge profits with selling products on Amazon.

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Raj Soni

How To Connect A Ps5 Controller With Nintendo Switch

The Joy-Cons that come with Nintendo Switch was truly a revelation. As a launch title, 1-2 Switch made perfect use of the controller, which meant a frivolous good time spent with your friends on game nights.

That doesn’t rule out the possibility of using different controllers with the Switch. The PS5 controller, which could be the GOAT controller of this generation, works without a hitch when connected to Nintendo Switch.

So without wasting any more time, let’s connect your Switch to the PS5 controller.

How to Connect a PS5 controller with Nintendo Switch

Let’s get over the things that we need.

A PS5 controller, Nintendo Switch, Bluetooth Adapter and a USB C to USB A dongle(if using Switch lite).

The PS5 controller has built-in Bluetooth 5.0, which it uses to connect with the PS5 console. And the Switch also comes with Bluetooth. But why do we need an adapter for the communication anyway?

Nintendo has placed this limitation so that the Joy-Cons can work without interruptions when connected to the Switch. Thus to use any other controller, you need a separate Bluetooth device that handles the communications between the devices.

As for the Bluetooth adapter, there are thousands of them on Amazon or Best Buy. You can use any of them, and they will work just fine. Personally, I think the 8bitdo USB Bluetooth adapter is the best when it comes to the Switch and any other consoles.

Now that everything is covered let’s pair up the controller.

Check our separate post for is Nintendo Switch worth it.

Follow the steps to connect your PS5 controller with Nintendo Switch:

Connect the Nintendo Switch to the dock and plug in the Bluetooth Adapter on the USB port. (For the Switch lite, connect the Bluetooth adapter to the Type-C port using the USB C to USB A adapter)

Tap on the gear icon on the Switch’s touchscreen to go to Settings.

Scroll down to Controllers and Sensors and Turn on Pro Controller Wired Communication.

Now press the pairing button on the Bluetooth device plugged into the Switch.

On the PS5 controller, press the create and PS button simultaneously.

You should see a blue light blinking on the PS5 controller. When it settles to a solid color, the pairing is done. Now you can navigate the Switch’s interface by pressing the buttons on the PS5 controller.

Note:The flagship features of the PS5 controllers, which made it’s name, won’t work on the Nintendo Switch. They include haptics, adaptive triggers, a built-in microphone and headphone jack. However, the touchpad and gyro sensor work fine with all games.

Related contents you should read about how long do Nintendo Switch charge last.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my PS5 controller on Nintendo Switch?

Yes, you can use the PS5 controller with Nintendo Switch. You just need a Bluetooth adapter that will connect it to the console.

Can you plug in your PS5 controller without an adapter into a Switch?

No, a Switch will not detect a controller plugged into the USB C port. You need a Bluetooth adapter connected to the USB C port that connects the PS5 controller to the Switch.

How to connect the PS5 controller to Switch lite?

You need a USB C to USB adapter and a Bluetooth adapter. Connect the Bluetooth adapter to the USB adapter, which connects to the type-c port in Switch lite. Next, put the adapter and the PS5 controller in the pairing mode, which will connect them.

Final Words

The PS5 controller should work with all your games on the Switch. With improved vibrations and gyro controls, the extended gaming sessions will not tire you out.

Nintendo also has the Pro controllers that come at a price similar to the PS5 controller. But if you have a PS5 already, why not save some cash while having a great gaming experience?

So, do let us know how the PS5 controller fared with you.

With that said, it’s time for goodbye.

Amazon Echo Buds (2Nd Gen) Review: Alexa And Anc On A Budget

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa and ANC on a budget

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

As lockdown gradually lifts, the active noise cancelling earbuds which have made working from home more bearable are about to get a taste of the outside world. Amazon’s new Echo Buds (2nd Gen) arrive just in time for that, pitching not only true wireless audio but hands-free Alexa and ANC with a head-turning $129.99 price tag.

That was an aggressive price when the first-gen Echo Buds launched in 2023, and it’s still compelling now. ANC – which uses microphones and software trickery to isolate you from a lot of real-world sounds – has proliferated in the headphone and earbud market over the past couple of years, but it’s still typically a premium feature. There, then, Amazon bucks the trend.

Some of the changes between the generations are mainly practical. The case is less bulky now, and the earbuds themselves are slightly smaller along with being IPX4 water resistant. Rather than the case flapping open like a powder compact, like before, it has the same floss-dispenser shape as most other wireless earbuds have adopted. It’s a little easier to flip open one-handed as a result.

Amazon includes four sizes of ear tips, and two sizes of wing tips, in the box. They’re all interchangeable, which I liked, as I often struggle with getting wireless earbuds to stick in my ear canals. It means you can pair whichever wing tips suit your outer-ears with the snuggest-fitting inner-tips. The Amazon “smile” on the outer face of each earbud makes it easier to figure out at which orientation to slot them in, too.

You pair the earbuds via the Alexa app, available for iOS and Android, and as part of that process there’s an ear-fit test which uses audio and microphones inside and outside of each bud to check the seal. As with any active noise cancelling earbud, it’s important to get that part right as otherwise the isolation tech won’t be as effective.

The setup process also guides you through using Alexa, too, including setting up a voice profile so Amazon’s assistant can differentiate how you sound compared to other people. By default, Alexa is always-on, and listening out for the wake word just like an Echo smart speaker would be.

Once that’s done, in fact, the overall experience is like walking around with one of those speakers on your shoulder. You can get weather reports and news updates, play podcasts, ask for tracks from Amazon Music, and control the smart home devices that are registered in the Alexa app. There are Echo Buds-specific commands, too, like asking what the battery level is or requesting directions to places. Then, using the GPS in your phone, Alexa will whisper navigation instructions to you. If you lose one, you can sau “Alexa, find my buds” to any smart speaker to locate them via an audible chime.

How useful all that is will depend on how much you rely on Amazon’s assistant day to day. If you’re used to spending much of your work day with earbuds in at this point, then being able to quickly get conversions, facts, and issue smart home commands can be very useful. You can also use voice commands to initiate or answer calls, and later in the year there’ll be VIP Filter support so that notifications from only whitelisted apps make it through.

As with the first-gen Echo Buds, the big pitch here is how affordable Amazon makes active noise cancellation. That’s arguably become a must-have in wireless earbuds, but still tends to carry a premium price tag. For this second-gen set, Amazon says its ANC is now twice as effective.

It’s enabled by default, and it works solidly, even if it’s not quite the most effective system I’ve tried. I still think Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM3 earbuds edge ahead of Amazon’s Echo Buds in terms of overall isolation, but they’re significantly more expensive, too.

You can toggle between ANC mode and transparency mode – where some external noise is piped through so that you can hold a conversation or hear traffic – by long-pressing the touch pad on either earbud. Or, you can ask Alexa to do it, though I did find occasionally that I’d have to unlock my phone first before it would do that. Amazon’s pass-through audio sounds a little crunchier than on rival ANC systems, I thought, with more noticeable background hiss.

For music, meanwhile, Amazon’s new 5.7mm drivers are billed as adding bass and treble in this generation, which is often where more affordable earbuds fall short. Billy Eilish’s “bury a friend,” my go-to for a low-end shakeout, suggests you should keep your expectations in perspective nonetheless. The new Echo Buds are balanced – there’s no outlandish skew to either the top or bottom end – but even with the bass cranked up in the Alexa app’s EQ settings it’s more of a gurgle than a slug.

Pop an earbud out mid-listen, and the music will pause until you put it back in. They’ll also work in mono mode. A single tap on either earbud toggles play/pause manually, a double-tap skips forward, and a triple-tap skips back. You can reprogram the long-press from ANC/passthrough, to volume up or down, manually triggering Alexa, muting/unmuting the microphone, or summoning Siri or the Google Assistant on your phone. It’s also possible to set a different long-press shortcut for each earbud.

$99.99 gets you the new Echo Buds and a regular case, which recharges with a USB-C port on the back. Like Apple does, however, Amazon also has a version with a wireless charging case. Then, you spend $129.99 – just like the first-generation Echo Buds – but get the choice of USB-C or Qi wireless charging.

Amazon has also worked with Anker on a PowerWave Wireless Charging Pad for the new Echo Buds. It’s $17.99, and has a recess in its top so that the earbuds’ case stands upright in the perfect spot. However that doesn’t stop it from charging other devices, like phones, laid flat on top as normal.

On the plus side, the charging pad has a row of LEDs along the front to show the current battery status of both the case and the earbuds: four lights for each. Another LED lights up if it’s another device, like a phone, that’s charging. The downside is that the pad can only supply 5W at best, no great hardship for the Echo Buds but short of what most modern phones can handle.

The Echo Buds should last for up to five hours of music playback, or four hours of calls, with ANC and hands-free Alexa both turned on, Amazon says. The case itself, whether wired or wireless charging, promises two additional charges for the earbuds. A 15 minute quick-charge is good for up to two hours of music playback.

If you can sacrifice hands-free Alexa and ANC, meanwhile, you can stretch each earbud out to 6.5 hours. With the case contributing its charge, then, you’re looking at just shy of 20 hours maximum use.

How To Connect To Your Target Audience

Targeting a broad audience that isn’t interested in your products or services – or can’t afford them – might boost website traffic on paper, but it won’t add any money to your wallet. To ensure your business is more than just a hobby, you’ll need to pinpoint your brand’s target audience to hone in on people who will engage with your product and ultimately make repeat purchases.

Once you’ve found your target audience, save time and money by performing proper keyword research. Getting your new product or service in front of consumers where they hang out, whether through online channels or social media, can help you gain new customers quickly and keep repeat customers anticipating your next offering.

Let’s break down what a target audience is, how to identify it, and how to reach these consumers. 

What is a target audience?

A target audience is a segmented group of consumers that want to buy your product or service. A target audience can refer to general followers of your brand or a specific group of followers interested in one or more products or services. 

You can identify a target audience by age, gender, geographic location, social media engagement, repeat purchases and other information. For example, if you sell spa services, your target market might be people who frequently purchase facials or pedicures. If you provide a specific service such as pedicures for men, segment your target audience by gender and even by men who have purchased services within the last six months.

How to identify your target audience

Communication is vital to identifying your target audience. To effectively analyze the buyer data you receive consistently, implement the following best practices:

1. Use the data from your best customers.

What makes a buyer love your products and make repeat purchases? Look for patterns in information such as when additional purchases are made, as well as the buyer’s location, age and preferred social media platforms. You can also survey your customers if you need specific data reference points.

Tip

Manage your online reputation to see what people are saying about you and whether they trust your business. Take steps to strengthen your company’s reputation if necessary.

2. Follow competitors, and track your industry.

Stealthily watching your competition can help you find ways to improve your services. For example, if your competitors are lacking in the customer service department, invest in additional ways your customers can contact you, such as via online live chat or a Facebook group. 

Track industry trends to find ways to improve and add to your product line. For example, does your industry sell better in a brick-and-mortar application or an online store? Being proactive is essential for staying ahead of your competition.

3. Narrow down your target audience.

If your business caters more to men than women, it’s vital to market to men. Even if your customers are already predominantly one gender, you can further narrow your market by age group, location, interest and buyer type. 

The more you can narrow your target audience, the less money you will spend (or waste) trying to acquire the right customers.

4. Invest in marketing tools.

Going through your customer data to find patterns, customer analytics and other pertinent information can be daunting. Fortunately, marketing tools can help you collect and analyze the business data you need to be competitive in your industry.

For example, Google Analytics provides in-depth data regarding website traffic, and Facebook business tools include engagement insights. Instagram business tools can also provide valuable data. If you already have a CRM tool for your business, use its CRM reports feature to analyze pertinent customer data.

FYI

Most e-commerce platforms store customer data, which allows you to access customer wish lists, abandoned shopping carts, loyalty behavior, and other online purchase habits to gain deeper insights on customer interaction.

How To Share Your Amazon Prime Membership With Family And Friends

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a premium subscription service offered by Amazon, providing various benefits such as fast and free delivery on many items, access to the Prime Video streaming service, Prime Reading, and much more. With the ability to share these benefits with up to one other adult and four children at no extra cost, it’s a great way to maximize the value of your Prime membership, especially during sales events like Prime Day.

Amazon Household: The Key to Sharing Your Prime Membership

Amazon Household is the feature that allows you to share your Prime membership with others in your household. You can set up your Amazon Household in the account section of your Amazon page. However, it’s important to note that sharing your Prime membership also means sharing your payment information. If you’re not comfortable with others having access to your card details, you should reconsider sharing your membership.

Who Can Share the Amazon Prime Benefits?

You can share your Amazon Prime benefits with one other adult and up to four children in your household. Keep in mind that you can’t share benefits if you’re a Prime Student, Prime Video-only user, or an invited guest of a Prime member.

Benefits That Can Be Shared with Amazon Household

While not all benefits are shareable, the following Prime benefits can be shared with the other adult and children in your Amazon Household:

Prime Delivery (including Prime Now and Amazon Fresh)

Prime Video streaming

Prime Reading

Family Library (sharing digital content like apps, eBooks, games, and other media)

Access to Lightning Deals

Try before you buy

Prime-exclusive items

Discounts on Amazon Music and Kids+

Amazon Family benefits (such as 20% off diapers and baby food subscriptions)

However, there are certain benefits that cannot be shared, including Kindle First, Twitch Prime, Amazon Prime Music, and Amazon Video Channels.

How to Share Your Amazon Prime Membership Using Amazon Household Step 1: Sign in and Open Prime Settings

Step 2: Open the Amazon Household Page

Step 3: Start Creating Amazon Household

Step 4: Choose Your Country of Residence

Step 5: Agree to Share Benefits

Step 6: Choose Your Billing Address

Step 7: Choose Your Payment Method

Join GizChina on Telegram

Step 8: Decide if You’d Like to Share Apps/Games and eBooks

Step 9: Send Invite

Step 10: Check Email for Invitation

Step 11: Confirm You’d Like to Share Benefits

Step 12: Sign in or Create a New Amazon Account

The invitee should sign in with their existing Amazon account or create a new one.

Step 13: Agree to Share Payment Information

Step 14: Choose a Billing Address

Step 15: Decide if You’d Like to Share Apps/Games and eBooks

Step 16: Enjoy the Benefits

That’s it! The invitee now has access to many of the benefits of Prime at no extra cost. From this screen, you can see what’s available and change how much you share.

FAQs about Sharing Amazon Prime Membership

Can I share my Prime membership with friends or extended family?

While you can technically share your Prime membership with anyone, it’s important to remember that you’ll also be sharing your payment information. If you’re not comfortable with people outside of your immediate household having access to your card details, it’s not recommended.

What happens when I remove someone from my Amazon Household?

When you remove someone from your Amazon Household, they will lose access to the shared Prime benefits. However, you will have to wait 180 days before you can add another adult to your Amazon Household.

Can I share my Prime membership with more than one adult?

No, you can only share your Prime membership with one other adult and up to four children.

Conclusion

Sharing your Amazon Prime membership with your loved ones is a great way to make the most of your subscription. With access to a variety of benefits such as Prime Delivery, Prime Video streaming, and Prime Reading, your family and friends will surely appreciate the perks. Just remember to consider the implications of sharing your payment information before inviting others to join your Amazon Household.

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