Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Alexa Will Soon Control Connected Microwaves

Amazon is making it easier to bring Alexa to devices like headphones and smartwatches Amazon announces Alexa is coming to headphones, smartwatches and fitness trackers
Pete Mitchell | 05 January, 2018, 14:16

Customers can already use Alexa to control the June Oven with their voice.

"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". Although lacking the smart home interaction of Alexa and Google Assistant, the Roku Entertainment Assistant will make it easier for you to play media with a voice command.

If you own a smart microwave or oven, you might soon be able to control it with Alexa.

In a Thursday post on the Alexa Blog, Amazon's Mike Mass introduced new tools that will let manufacturers add Alexa support to their cloud-connected microwaves.

Amazon confirmed the feature had gone live in the USA, with other countries to follow shortly. Up until now companies had to create custom skills for Alexa to command their appliances.

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"Customers are increasingly using voice user interfaces as a hands-free way to manage their lives, and hands-free control is especially valuable when cooking", Mass wrote to developers. Whirlpool has developed an Alexa skill for its line of connected microwaves, which will allow users to "configure, start and operate" their devices entirely hands-free.

Now Amazon is making strides to expand that trend beyond lights, door locks and televisions, and into the kitchen. In addition, you could ask Alexa to preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

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.

The biggest limitation here is on the appliance side: even if you have a smart microwave or a smart oven - and most people don't - it also needs to be updated to support this feature.

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