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Amazon Alexa will soon let users control ovens and microwaves

05 January 2018

This means that appliance manufacturers will now be able to create Alexa Skills that enable users to control their cooking appliances using the voice-activated assistant.

Devices from Amazon and Google are the clear leaders in the smart speaker category with their respective Echo and Home products.

HOME INVADER Amazon has announced an update to its Alexa API that could see the AI assistant arrive in your, er, microwave. Now you can build skills to enable customers in the USA to control their microwave ovens using Alexa.

Amazon introduced new tools on Thursday that allow kitchen appliance makers to build Alexa, the voice assistant that powers Echo devices, into microwaves and eventually conventional ovens. 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 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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This move comes as Amazon believes that customers are increasingly using voice user interfaces (VUIs) as a hands-free way to manage their lives and hands-free control could especially be valuable when cooking.

The catch, as you might imagine, is that your ovens and microwaves need to support this feature, and nearly all "smart" versions now don't.

Recent reports reveal that Whirlpool will be among the first appliance brands to feature Alexa integration, enabling consumers to "soon" "configure, start, and operate" its suite of smart microwaves. GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung are also working on using the cooking capabilities in the Smart Home Skill API to let customers control their ovens and more appliances by using Alexa. "For example, a customer can say "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken" or 'Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high'".

The new feature, called Flash Briefing, is easily set up after downloading the Amazon Alexa app on an iOS or Android device.

Amazon Alexa will soon let users control ovens and microwaves