Amazon Alexa is coming to your microwave, for some reason

Amazon Alexa is coming to your microwave, for some reason

While 2017 has been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, especially for Google and Amazon, smart speakers in 2018 will move beyond hardware, with strategic attempts to monetize the growing installed base in the United States and beyond. According to the online retail giant, the company will be introducing "cooking capabilities" to Alexa's Smart Home Skill API. Amazon has added cooking abilities to its Smart Home Skill framework, letting you control microwaves (and eventually conventional ovens) with your voice. 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.

Amazon is making it easier to bring Alexa to devices like headphones and smartwatches

Amazon confirmed the feature had gone live in the U.S., with other countries to follow shortly.

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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.

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Now Amazon is making strides to expand that trend beyond lights, door locks and televisions, and into the kitchen. Whirlpool has already created an Alexa skill that will let customers easily configure, start, and operate their connected microwaves with just their voice. "For example, a customer can say "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken" or 'Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high'". GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG and Samsung have also committed to working on skills for their own ovens and "more appliances".

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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. Now you can build skills to enable customers in the United States to control their microwave ovens using Alexa. With the built-in cooking device controls in the Smart Home Skill API, you will make it easier for your customers to control your cloud-connected microwave.

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