Amazon gives Alexa more cooking chops, invests in June Oven

Amazon gives Alexa more cooking chops, invests in June Oven

Both companies cut prices for the smallest version of their speakers, the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini, to as little as $29 from $50 for the U.S. holidays.

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CIRP's data on the buying habits of Amazon shoppers indicate that the company's voice-enabled Echo devices are associated with higher spending.

Amazon Echo owners spend 66% more than average customers of the e-commerce giant, helping the company to sell its voice-enabled devices for a lower price, per a study by Consumer Intelligence Research provided to Mobile Marketer.

On Thursday, the company announced "cooking capabilities" are now part of its Smart Home Skill API. It also might be useful for when you've put your food in the microwave and are reading the back of the box for directions, which you can then call out to Alexa as you find them. You can leverage these interfaces today for microwaves and for appliances that support preset cooking. Wright adds that not including smart speakers received for the U.S. Christmas holiday, 35 million units of the device have been installed worldwide. Naturally, you'll need a microwave oven that is created to connect with Alexa, but plenty of appliance makers are taking the initiative to make this happen. Amazon has a handful of partners on board, but it isn't clear just how quickly support will roll out.

Whirlpool is the first company to create an Alexa skill for its connected microwaves, and Amazon said it'll be launching "soon" in the USA, so we wouldn't be surprised if the first AI-controlled microwaves made an appearance at CES next week. Customers can ask Alexa to set microwave cook times, modes, power levels, and more instead of using the traditional and often confusing microwave experience. They may also use the various Alexa skills available and suggest specific products when users are asking about something.

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. We don't want Microwaves or ovens blowing up or catching on fire.