Alexa, More Popcorn, Please! Amazon Launches Voice Controlled Microwave

Gerald Bowen
September 22, 2018

Even though the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung - which make a number of smart appliances - support a growing number of smart devices, its Amazon's Alexa which the company claims can now control over "20,000 smart home products from more than 3,5000 brands".

"Amazon wants to get you used to the idea that this Alexa assistant can be in anything", says CNET's Dan Ackerman.

Amazon, wanting everything and anything you do to have Alexa integrated into it, announced a smorgasbord of new stuff today. The event, held at the company's headquarters in Seattle, marked an aggressive move to become the de facto force in the home automation space. There are two versions, both will be shipped November 14th: 2 tuners/500GB for $230, or 4 tuners/1TB for $280, both are up straight from Amazon right now. It wants to be in your microwave, your clock, your auto, and even in your kitchen. "Apple has smart vehicle software, Google does, so Amazon wants to be in there with Alexa". Of course, as a subwoofer that's all it's expected to do; it doesn't work on its own and can only function when wirelessly paired with an Echo speaker or pair of speakers. The $59.99 microwave, which is called the AmazonBasics Microwave, may not seem like a great idea on paper, but it actually makes a lot of sense.

So why a microwave? The AmazonBasics Microwave looks more or less like you'd expect it to, but it hides a trick under a particular blue button: you can talk to it. The Echo Plus comes with improved sound for streaming audio. Oh, no. You'll soon be able to buy a wall clock that can receive Alexa commands. The device includes a built-in Zigbee hub for easily connecting to smart home devices that use the Zigbee protocol. Amazon says the preferred method to hook up Echo Auto is via Bluetooth or an auxiliary jack, which many modern cars possess. Amazon has already been working with manufacturers to add Alexa into cars. The gadget lets users access Alexa inside their auto. With the Echo Auto, it is rethinking how to bring Alexa to any vehicle with a nifty accessory.

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A new Echo Show device boasted twice the screen display area as its predecessor, and Fire TV Recast that acts as a digital recorder for traditional television broadcasts.

Amazon teased a coming feature called Alexa Hunches that is created to infuse the digital assistant with intuition.

That's not all, Amazon also announced a couple of new smart home devises.

But at the end of the day Amazon's goal is not only to sell its Alexa-based connected devices at aggressive prices.

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