Alexa Will Soon Control Connected Microwaves

Alexa Will Soon Control Connected Microwaves

According to Amazon, the AI assistant will offer customers a break from, er, "traditional and often confusing microwave experience by enabling them to bark commands at the appliance such as "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken" or "Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high".

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 upgrades announced by Amazon, Thursday, will initially apply to microwaves before being extended to conventional ovens and other smart cooking appliances.

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

"Customers have now connected tens of millions of smart home devices to Alexa, including cameras, door locks, lights, entertainment systems, and thermostats".

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Alexa's cooking capabilities will be first rolled out in the U.S. before being made available elsewhere.

Hisense says Alexa support will give its 2018 TVs "a wide variety of voice features right out of the box" and that Alexa will help users "control certain primary functions, including voice commands, changing inputs and controlling volume".

Whirlpool has signed on to launch an Alexa-ready microwave that will be the first to the market. The skill enables customers to easily configure, start, and operate their connected Whirlpool microwaves. You might, for example, tell Alexa to set the microwave for 3 minutes or ask Alexa to preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

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. The tools are available from Amazon for developers now, but we'll still have to wait a while to see compatible appliances.

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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