Amazon Alexa will soon let users control ovens and microwaves

Steve Phelps
January 5, 2018

"The move by Amazon, which right now does very little advertising on the Echo, could mean big things for consumer companies that are fretting their influence on a voice-powered shopping experience", CNBC claimed in their report, adding that, "With Alexa's clout anticipated to rise, brands are anxious about being left out of the voice-shopping platform entirely". Starting today, third-party manufacturers who make these ovens, will be able to link their devices in the US, with support for other countries following.

Could Alexa be the next big thing in 2018? While you won't be able to ask Alexa for cookies and have a tray of piping-hot chocolate chip emerge from the nearest Echo smart speaker, it will allow manufacturers to bake the the assistant into their upcoming microwaves.

Customers are increasingly using voice user interfaces (VUIs) as a hands-free way to manage their lives, and hands-free control is especially valuable when cooking. The digital personal assistant can now control users' microwaves and ovens, so that instead of pressing a button you can say "Alexa, heat on high for 45 seconds" or "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken". In 2016, as its Echo device and Alexa technology started to pick up momentum, Amazon made announcements with companies like Ford, HomeAdvisor, Whirlpool, and others who were integrating Alexa into their own products. Also, Amazon is putting its money where its mouth is. "Cooking capabilities will also be available in other countries soon", Amazon has stated.

So with the built-in cooking device controls in the Smart Home Skill API, users will now find it easier to control their cloud-connected microwave. Amazon has a handful of partners on board, but it isn't clear just how quickly support will roll out.

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GE Appliances, LG, Samsung, and Kenmore also plan to add Alexa support for their ovens, as well as other appliances, at some point in the future.

"Whirlpool has created an Alexa skill leveraging these new cooking capabilities in the Smart Home Skill API for its connected microwaves and expects to launch it soon". "At Amazon, we believe that there will be an Alexa skill for everyone, for everything".

All in all, this is an interesting development in the technology sphere.

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