Amazon is planning to launch an an Alexa-enabled microwave oven as part of a dramatic expansion of its smart hardware line-up, according to reports.
CNBC says an own-branded cooking appliance is one of at least eight products the firm is planning to announce before the end of 2018. The others include a subwoofer, an amplifier, an A/V receiver, a subwoofer and some sort of in-car gadget “among others.”
According to the report, at least some of these devices will be revealed at an event before the month is out. CNBC says it discovered the existence of the plans from a leaked internal document.
Those familiar with the matter say the devices will be Alexa-enabled or have Alexa directly built in. One would assume the in-car gadget will meet the former category, where it relies on connection to a companion smartphone app.
Related: Which Amazon Echo should you buy?
However, there’s no reason indoor gadgets like a microwave and subwoofter can’t have direct access to Alexa through a home Wi-Fi connection. The report says the amplifier, for example, would give users the opportunity to control multiform speakers around the come via a “central audio panel.”
The reported expansion would double down on Amazon’s plans to have Alexa’s reach expand far beyond the smart speaker realm. At CES in January, Amazon added kitchen devices to the list of gadgets that can conceivably be controlled by the Alexa personal assistant.
The firm cooking capabilities’ are now part of its Smart Home Skill API. That means manufacturers could begin building the commands into their products. Amazon says customers will be able to use commands like “Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken” or “Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high,” saving lots of button pushes in the process.
While companies like Whirlpool are already setting about enabling functionality in its products, Amazon is seemingly seeking to take a piece of the ‘white goods’ market for itself.
Is an Alexa-enabled microwave really necessary? After all, you’re right there. Putting the food in to the actual microwave. Anyway, let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.