Amazon's Alexa can now tell microwaves how to cook

Nichole Vega
January 5, 2018

In addition to Alexa, other Amazon teams will also be in Las Vegas, ranging from Amazon Web Services to Amazon Launchpad. Amazon's Alexa-powered devices Echo, Echo Dot and the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were the retailer's No. 1 and No. 2 top-selling over the holidays products, respectively, Amazon said.

As we all know, smart home companies can integrate into Google Assistant/Home in one of two ways. For example, a customer can say "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken" or "Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high". Indeed the new API software is an improvement. Just last October, we reported on 65 direct partners being supported by Assistant and now if you go over to the Home Control section of your Google Home app or Assistant's settings, you can find that the number has jumped a little over 100. The interfaces are designed for future extensibility as support for more cooking devices becomes available the company has revealed.

Whirlpool is the first company to create an Alexa skill for its connected microwaves, and Amazon said it'll be launching "soon" in the U.S., so we wouldn't be surprised if the first AI-controlled microwaves made an appearance at CES next week. Next up? Controlling your kitchen appliances starting with microwave ovens. "Customers can ask Alexa to set microwave cook times, modes, power levels, and more instead of using the traditional and often confusing microwave experience", Amazon has said.

GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung are also working on integrating Alexa's cooking capabilities into their smart ovens and appliances. Amazon explained further telling CNET that, "we're making it easier for device manufacturers to build for Alexa by providing a common framework". 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. Hopefully, these companies are considering or taking necessary precautions to make sure that nothing leads to a risky situation or accidents.

The first is to let brands pay for placement when users are shopping through Alexa.

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