GE Appliances, which has collaborated with Amazon on its Dash automated replenishment system, has tapped into the e-tailer’s technology yet again.
Effective today, the majap maker’s connected Monogram and GE-brand majap platforms have been imbued with Alexa, Amazon’s Cloud-based digital assistant and smart-home hub.
That means that customers can now issue voice commands to select GE ranges, refrigerators, wall ovens, laundry pairs and water heaters via all Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon’s Echo, Tap and Dot wireless speakers, and Fire TV and tablets.
Related: Alexa Coming To Fire Tablets
But the GE-Alexa connection isn’t direct; users must first download a "Geneva" instruction set, or “skill,” onto the Alexa app, and then, as with all third-party skills, invoke the name of the cyber intermediary to elicit a response. For example, “Alexa, tell Geneva to turn off the oven.”
“Voice connectivity has a big role in the Internet of Things, as well as in the home,” said GE VP Liz VerSchure, who honchos the company’s connected strategy. “Integrating our connected appliances with Alexa will help make consumers’ lives easier, more productive and a little more fun.”
For Amazon, the move further solidifies Alexa’s position as a leading candidate for whole-home-control hub.
“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,” acknowledged Charlie Kindel, director of Amazon Alexa smart home.
GE, now a unit of Haier, promised additional Alexa functionality in the near future, including voice control for smart room air conditioners. The digital assistant currently has over 3,000 skills and some 10,000 third-party developers actively adding more to the open platform.