Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa is already able to help you with all sorts of tasks from shopping at Whole Foods to running your kitchen. In the latter department, these Alexa-enabled smart appliances have always been produced in collaboration with other brands, however, that’s about to change. According to CNBC, Amazon is slated to unveil eight new Alexa voice-controlled home appliances by the end of the year, the company’s first foray into this space. And as far as your kitchen is concerned, that means an Alexa-integrated Amazon microwave is on its way.
Amazon already sells an Alexa-connected microwave produced by GE. But with that product, users must buy a separate Alexa speaker and then enable the two devices to work together. With the release of its own Alexa microwave, Amazon could potentially sell the appliance with Alexa already built in. As a result, Amazon wouldn’t simply be selling customers a connected microwave, but also be slipping Alexa into the buyer’s kitchen as well. Though CNBC only speculated that this sort of integration was expected with the forthcoming microwave, adding built-in Alexa technology is certainly a savvy way to get people using Alexa in their kitchen even if buying an Alexa speaker was never their primary goal.
Meanwhile, additional details on these forthcoming smart appliances are extremely slim: CNBC cities only “an internal document” and “people familiar with the matter” before later stating that Amazon declined to comment. However, the business site suggested that all eight devices—which also include things like an amplifier, a receiver, and a subwoofer—would be revealed at an event later this month and released sometime this year.
Regardless, for Amazon, getting Alexa into your microwave is about more than just cooking burritos and popcorn more convenient. CNBC suggests that the smart speaker market could be worth around $30 billion by 2024, and Amazon wants to be there. “We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in July. They seem to already know you spend a lot of time in your kitchen.