Hisense's new 2018 TVs will have built-in Amazon Alexa


Amazon's Alexa AI tech is set to be expanded - with a deal in the pipeline for advertising to be pumped direct to users' devices. Yes, you heard that right. Today we are excited to introduce cooking capabilities as part of the Smart Home Skill API. For example, a customer can say "Alexa, defrost three pounds of chicken" or "Alexa, microwave for 50 seconds on high". Support for other cooking devices, such as conventional ovens, is coming soon.

Being the first brand in Alexa's search results would also be especially valuable, because shoppers are more likely to select the first option available when they can't physically scroll down to see other brands.

Aside from TV controls, users will be able to access as they would an Alexa enabled smart speaker. Instead of pressing multiple buttons to enable advanced microwave features, users can simply use their voices. Amazon and Google are expected to remain in the lead with their Echo and Home products respectively, but will face increased competition as new vendors enter the race. Amazon has a handful of partners on board, but it isn't clear just how quickly support will roll out. Whirlpool has already created its own Alexa skill for microwaves, and plans to launch it "soon". The skill enables customers to easily configure, start, and operate their connected Whirlpool microwaves.

In the future, though, Samsung, LG, GE Appliances and Kenmore will also allow their ovens (and, in time, other appliances) to support Alexa. Amazon explained further telling CNET that, "we're making it easier for device manufacturers to build for Alexa by providing a common framework".

The biggest limitation here is on the appliance side: even if you have a smart microwave or a smart oven - and most people don't - it also needs to be updated to support this feature.

All in all, this is an interesting development in the technology sphere.

According to a report from Emarketer released in May a year ago, Amazon dominates the voice-controlled speaker market.

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