Amazon has added cooking abilities to its Smart Home Skill framework, letting you control microwaves (and eventually conventional ovens) with your voice. According to the online retail giant, the company will be introducing "cooking capabilities" to Alexa's Smart Home Skill API.
Expect to see the cooking features in use very soon. Whirlpool has developed an Alexa skill for its line of connected microwaves, which will allow users to "configure, start and operate" their devices entirely hands-free.
Devices from Amazon and Google are the clear leaders in the smart speaker category with their respective Echo and Home products.
Hisense says Alexa support will give its 2018 TVs "a wide variety of voice features right out of the box" and that Alexa will help users "control certain primary functions, including voice commands, changing inputs and controlling volume". "Customers can ask Alexa to set microwave cook times, modes, power levels, and more instead of using the traditional and often confusing microwave experience", Amazon has said.
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GE Appliances, LG, Samsung, and Kenmore also plan to add Alexa support for their ovens, as well as other appliances, at some point in the future.
Additionally, Amazon has also announced that Alexa Fund, the company's venture capital arm, has invested in June Life, makers of the June Oven, a countertop smart oven that makes cooking easier, faster, and tastier. Ovens and microwaves are the current focus, but Amazon hopes that other appliances will be compatible beyond that.
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. That said, hopefully Amazon and these companies have taken precautions to make sure that ovens don't get accidentally set without people realizing, since that could lead to a risky situation.