Ever since the release Amazon's digital voice assistant, Alexa, has made real progress, showing up in all sorts of devices. As of now, Alexa is compatible with a number of devices in various categories. This includes smart speakers, smart TVs, smartphones, smart home products, automotive industry, wearables, earphones and more. Amazon is now adding a few more to the already strong repertoire of Alexa ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, to be held in Las Vegas from 9 to 12 January.
Amazon is making Alexa become more valuable in your kitchen by adding voice control to your microwave. The expanded skills of Alexa mean developers will now be able to add microwave-centric voice commands into their devices. Some of the illustrations as made by Amazon include, "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken," and "Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high."
Whirlpool have already started working on to have the Alexa skills ready for its connected microwaves. Other manufacturers like GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG and Samsung are also expected to follow the suite soon.
The June oven already works via voice control, thanks to its custom Alexa skills. Furthermore, the oven uses cameras to identify what food you're making and set the cooking parameters accordingly. It can currently identify or you can say differentiate between 25 different food items. For foods it can't identify, you can provide information via Alexa and June will use its sensors and machine learning to set the cooking parameters. You can, of course, adjust the parameters manually.
Many manufacturers are, however, not completely trusting the smart control features for ovens. The fear is that people would start preheating their ovens when away from home, which might be dangerous sometimes. The solution that they have taken shelter under is having to push a physical button on the oven itself before it can be controlled remotely. Now with voice control, it is very likely that we see similar safeguards placed in our ovens. Amazon says it is up to the manufacturer whether to enable remote-start functionality.