Devices from Amazon and Google are the clear leaders in the smart speaker category with their respective Echo and Home products.
Could Alexa be the next big thing in 2018?
According to CNBC, the retail giant has been negotiating with a range of major companies, such as Clorox and Procter & Gamble, to let them promote their products via Alexa.
Beyond that, Amazon plans to expand the API to support conventional ovens and other cooking devices. Now you can build skills to enable customers in the U.S. to control their microwave ovens using Alexa.
Unfortunately Amazon only sells the Basic Edition of its Fire TV in Australia and we miss out on United States models which pack more grunt, support faster Wi-Fi, handle Ultra HD streaming and work with Amazon's talkative Alexa smart assistant. 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. Amazon now has a large space on the show floor dedicated to Alexa; it also has a separate area across from space reserved for Google and its Google Assistant, a competitor to Alexa. "Cooking capabilities will also be available in other countries soon", Amazon has stated.More news: Hoda Kotb named 'Today' co-anchor following Lauer's exit
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"You can leverage these interfaces today for microwaves and for appliances that support preset cooking", Amazon says.
In the future, though, Samsung, LG, GE Appliances and Kenmore will also allow their ovens (and, in time, other appliances) to support Alexa. Amazon has a handful of partners on board, but it isn't clear just how quickly support will roll out.
Whirlpool has signed on to launch an Alexa-ready microwave that will be the first to the market.
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". We don't want Microwaves or ovens blowing up or catching on fire.