Amazon Brings Cooking Capabilities To Alexa Smart Home Skill API

05 January, 2018, 14:17 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Amazon is making it easier to bring Alexa to devices like headphones and smartwatches

Amazon is expanding the skill set of virtual assistant Alexa beyond being able to control lights and speakers - it'll soon be able to control your microwave.

Initially, there are four new capability interfaces in the Smart Home Skill API and it includes Alexa.Cooking, Alexa.Cooking.TimeController, Alexa.TimeHoldController, and Alexa.CookingPresetController.

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Recent reports reveal that Whirlpool will be among the first appliance brands to feature Alexa integration, enabling consumers to "soon" "configure, start, and operate" its suite of smart microwaves.

That's because today Amazon introduced built-in cooking controls for cooking appliances into the Alexa smart home API. Instead of pressing umpteen buttons, you can simply ask Alexa to "defrost 3lbs of chicken". Now you can build skills to enable customers in the U.S. to control their microwave ovens using Alexa. Amazon has a handful of partners on board, but it isn't clear just how quickly support will roll out.

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On top of that, support for other cooking devices, such as conventional ovens, should arrive in the near future as well, Mass said.

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.

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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. "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 U.S. and beyond". This means, of course, you can expect the June oven to work with Alexa's cooking capabilities sometime in 2018.

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