Amazon adds cooking capabilities to Alexa to control microwaves and ovens

Amazon has announced that they’ve expanded Alexa’s developer API to now include cooking capabilities. The new abilities allow customers to control smart microwaves, with control for conventional ovens and other cooking appliances coming later.

Alexa will be able to control cloud-connected microwaves and help perform actions that normally require pressing multiple buttons with intuitive voice commands. Example commands given include “Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken” and “Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high.

Whirlpool will be among the first manufactures to launch an Alexa Skill for their connected microwaves that leverage the new cooking capabilities. The skill enables customers to easily configure, start, and operate their connected Whirlpool microwaves. Customers can ask Alexa to set microwave cook times, modes, power levels, and more instead of using the traditional and often confusing buttons.

GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung are also working on incorporating the new cooking capabilities to allow customers to control their ovens and more appliances using Alexa in the future. While it’ll probably be a while before most of us control cooking appliances with our voice, this extension of Alexa’s capabilities makes sense since the kitchen is a common place to have your hands full.

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14 comments
  1. Masterblaster says:

    Is it me or does this seem unsafe?

    • Matt says:

      Imagine if someone hacks a propane or natural gas oven to turn on just the gas for an hour and THEN light the oven. Pretty scary to me!

      • Vonda Z says:

        The stovetop is not digital and still controlled via knobs, so it cannot be turned on remotely and no way to turn on just the gas. You just get some basic oven functionality – and most of it is informational – what is the oven status, temperature, timer info stuff. You can preheat or turn off remotely, but only if you have turned on remote functionality – that setting is lost once you use the oven, so you have to turn it on every time you are going to want to use it. Lots of safeguards. Not for everyone though.

  2. Vonda Z says:

    GE already lets you control their newer Profile and Café series ovens via an Alexa skill. I use it to start preheating the oven without needing to go into the kitchen and to check on the oven temp and how much time is left on the timer. It will be nice to have native integration, though, so you no longer have to say “Ask Geneva” before any request.

    • boudyka says:

      does the alexa skill come with a baking/roasting tray tidy. As my first task before cooking is taking all the stacked cake/bake/roasting tins out the oven. Kitchens are tiny in UK.

  3. Dave says:

    How is having to loudly speak the phrase “Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high” easier than pressing 5-0-START?

    Enough with these dumb “smart appliances”.

    • Reflex says:

      It depends on your starting point. My aunt often leaves her coffee in the microwave to heat later while she goes outside to smoke. Being able to simply say “alexa, microwave 30 seconds” as she walks inside could be beneficial.

      That said, the major use would be getting status and notifications. Rather than a loud beeping microwave, having Alexa notify you in the room that you are in that the oven or microwave are done would be a nice feature.

      • AR says:

        my favorite sentence is this one
        “instead of using the traditional and often confusing buttons.”

        if operating your microwave is confusing then there is little hope you will be able to set up alexa and get it working with smart appliances

        • Reflex says:

          While configuration is still more of a headache actual operation is substantially simpler than many modern appliances with their many options and digital UI’s. My aunt suffers from early stage alzheimer’s, I can put a series of notes on the kitchen whiteboard for basic and useful Alexa commands so she knows what to do fro functions, but directions on how to use various modes of the Microwave are far more complex to master for someone in her condition.

          I suspect even without dementia as a factor this is true for many people, elderly or not. Another friend of mine is blind and Alexa has been a godsend for helping him regain some measure of independence. The more common functions that are voice accessible to him the less he has to rely on his wife for day to day activities.

          • Len Mullen says:

            Have resisted a lot of automation. We tried a ‘programmable thermostat’ some time back. Wife was unhappy — “I just want to turn it up when I’m cold and down when I’m warm!” I love having Alexa manage shopping lists and timers, but I’ll turn on the appliances.

        • Len Mullen says:

          My NEW toaster oven has ‘confusing’ knobs. My iBoy really likes the controls. BUT, if Alexa worked with sensors to adjust settings to achieve cooking objectives, I’d be interested. “Alexa, warm my bagel.” “Alexa, brown my toast.” “Alexa, cook my prime rib to medium rare.” The only controls I have ever used on my washer and dryer are On and Start.

  4. Lenin D says:

    Alexa Burn the house….. OK….
    This should be illegal , sometimes alexa gets the commands wrong ..seems like a fire hazard

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