The Alexa Invasion: am I talking to my microwave?
It’s no secret that Amazon have been slowly but surely infiltrating Alexa into people’s homes (they’re always listening!). Their most recent development could see that continue at quite a rate. Say hello to the Alexa Connect Kit, a cost effective way for companies to integrate Alexa into their products. So who’s been first to jump on the bandwagon?
What is the Alexa Connect Kit?
Developers have always been faced with complex, time-consuming hurdles when creating products with smart technology. For each product, they need to create a new component with Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as software in the devices that controls the functions. With the Alexa Connect Kit, their lives are made simpler.
The kit allows developers to connect their appliances and products to other Alexa-enabled devices. Customers can then relay commands through their other Alexa devices or through the Alexa app. The Connect Kit creates a gateway to Amazon’s cloud connectivity and voice control, as well as having all the back-end services required, saving companies time not just in manufacturing but in managing cloud services as well.
One small step for microwaves, one giant leap for kitchen kind!
Sharp are one of the early birds to try this Amazon Alexa technology. They’ve invented the Sharp Smart Countertop Microwave Oven. Now you can simply tell your microwave what to do.
If, like me, you don’t use half of the buttons on your microwave, the idea is Sharp’s smart microwave will help people stop misusing power settings and ending up with under-thawed or over-cooked food. It should be particularly beneficial for older people or those with disabilities.
Customers can use up to 70 voice commands with the Sharp microwave. Why “Alexa, reheat mozzarella sticks” and “Alexa, cook butternut squash” are 2 of those commands, we’re not entirely sure…are they often cooked in microwaves?
There aren’t many kitchen appliances that currently use this Amazon Alexa technology, so Sharp really gained the competitive advantage here.
Where is it heading next?
In the summer, Lavazza announced the world’s first coffee machine with in-built Alexa.
The A Modo Mio Voicy has the recognisable blue ring as you mumble “Alexa, make me a coffee” in the morning. You can get your favourite coffee without even touching the machine – to an extent. You obviously still have to load the pod and mug yourself. There’s an excellent, honest review in Ideal Home if you’re considering adding a little tech to your home.
The other exciting invention in the Amazon line is Astro, a helpful home robot designed to assist with a range of tasks. These include:
- Looking out for loved ones if you’re remotely caring for relatives or friends
- Teaming up with Ring to patrol your home and keep it safe when you’re out
- Bringing Alexa to you wherever you are in the home
The science behind it is quite something, and as they say, ‘this is our first robot, not our last.’ Check out the video below to find out more.
Unfortunately at the moment, it’s only available exclusively by invitation in the US. I wonder how you get an invite to that party?
The developments are happening at speed, and soon you won’t be able to say Alexa without all your devices going off. To keep up to date with all the latest Amazon news, check out our blog.