Amazon gives Alexa more cooking chops, invests in June Oven

05 January, 2018, 14:15 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Smart speakers will be the fastest growing new category in 2018 outpacing wearables AR and VR

"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".

Amazon has today announced that its smart voice assistant, Alexa, will soon be able to control microwaves and ovens, with further plans to support other cooking appliances too. Now you can build skills to enable customers in the U.S. to control their microwave ovens using Alexa. This functionality will initially only be available to US-based developers but Amazon will be bringing the API to other parts of the world "soon".

"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", Amazon's Mike Maas wrote in a blog post.

Now Amazon is making strides to expand that trend beyond lights, door locks and televisions, and into the kitchen. "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.

Specifically, when you need to have something heated in the microwave or oven in the future, you could simply say, "Alexa, heat this on high for one minute".




The functions won't work with existing microwaves, so manufacturers will have to build new smart ovens to support Alexa.

Whirlpool has signed on to launch an Alexa-ready microwave that will be the first to the market.

Manufacturing partners that have signed on to the program include GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool.

Additionally, Amazon has also announced that Alexa Fund, the company's venture capital arm, has invested in June Life, makers of the June Oven, a countertop smart oven that makes cooking easier, faster, and tastier.

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