As a result, increasing numbers of third-party companies have moved to add Alexa compatibility to their products so that Echo speakers and Alexa-compatible smartphones can be used to control appliances around the home.
Expect to see the cooking features in use very soon.
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That means Alexa developers will now be able to integrate the smart assistant into their own connected microwaves and conventional ovens, though support for the latter won't be arriving for a while yet.
Now Amazon is making strides to expand that trend beyond lights, door locks and televisions, and into the kitchen.
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".
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Whirlpool is the first company to create an Alexa skill for its connected microwaves, and Amazon said it'll be launching "soon" in the U.S., so we wouldn't be surprised if the first AI-controlled microwaves made an appearance at CES next week. The skill enables customers to easily configure, start, and operate their connected Whirlpool microwaves. "Customers can ask Alexa to set microwave cook times, modes, power levels, and more instead of using the traditional and often confusing microwave experience". "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 USA and beyond".
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. We don't want Microwaves or ovens blowing up or catching on fire.
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