HOME INVADER Amazon has announced an update to its Alexa API that could see the AI assistant arrive in your, er, microwave.
Over on its developer blog, Amazon has revealed that an update to its Home Skill API will allow appliance manufacturers to add Alexa support to cloud-connected microwave ovens, which apparently exist.
The functions won’t work with existing microwaves, so manufacturers will have to build new smart ovens to support Alexa.
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.”
Amazon says that, to begin with, Alexa will be able to set microwave cook times, modes and power levels, but there’s no word as to whether the AI assistant is yet smart enough to figure out how to set the ruddy clock.
Whirlpool is the first company to create an Alexa skill for its connected microwaves, and Amazon said it’ll be launching “soon” in the US, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the first AI-controlled microwaves made an appearance at CES next week.
GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG and Samsung are also working on bringing AI controls to their appliances.
Amazon has also announced that the Alexa Fund, its venture capital arm, is investing in June Life, the company behind the connected June Oven. The move will lead to June adding Alexa commands once oven support is available.
News of Amazon’s latest home-invading move comes hot on the heels of reports that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the firm has started discussions with multi-nationals who want to offer sponsored responses to questions you ask Alexa. µ
Source : Inquirer