Amazon’s Alexa can now talk with General Electric and Monogram appliances, GE announced today.
Appliances speak to Alexa through GE’s virtual assistant Geneva, so utterances to Alexa sound like “Alexa, tell Geneva to preheat the oven to 400 degrees” or “Alexa, tell Geneva to set the water heater to 100 degrees.” Geneva can also raise or lower temperature in specific sections of a refrigerator, and verify your appliances are turned off before you leave home.
“For safety, certain features like stovetop cooking or oven broil are not available using voice commands because they are functions that require constant supervision,” the company said in this post detailing Geneva commands through Alexa.
GE Appliances, a Haier company, makes Wi-Fi-connected refrigerators, water heaters, washer and dryers, and ovens. Commands to control GE’s wall mount air conditioners will be next, a company spokesperson said. Appliance owners can speak with Geneva through any Alexa-enabled devices, like the Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, and Amazon Fire TV.
Alexa just learned how to speak to GE appliances, but the assistant has been able to speak with Internet of Things devices for more than a year. These include the August smart home lock and the Ecobee thermostat. Of course, Amazon is one of several companies using bots and personal assistants to control devices.
Today iOS 10 is rolling out for iPhone users, and it includes the Home app for controlling your IoT devices. In May, Microsoft acquired Solaris to expand its Azure IoT suite. Meanwhile, services provided by the IFTTT bot are available on several platforms and connect to cars, lightbulbs, and more than 50 IoT devices.
“One of our goals with Alexa is to enable voice control on every device within the home, and this collaboration gets us one step closer to achieving that,” said Amazon Alexa Smart Home’s Charlie Kindel, in a statement.
Alexa now has more than 3,000 skills created by third-party developers, like GE Appliances. We’re sure to see this number steadily increase as Amazon begins to treat Alexa as a more central part of the tech giant’s money-making strategy.
In late May, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos suggested that Alexa could become one of the four pillars of the Amazon brand, alongside the Amazon retail marketplace, Amazon Web Services, and Amazon Prime. One month after making that statement, Alexa acquired the skill to shop for millions of items on Amazon.com.