GE Appliances, which is collaborating with Amazon on its on-board Dash automatic replenishment system, has once again tapped into the e-tailer’s technology.
Effect last month, it has imbued its connected Monogram and GE-brand majaps with Alexa, the e-tailer’s Cloud-based digital assistant and smart-home platform.
Users can now issue various voice commands to select 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 set-top box, Stick and tablets.
But before they can ask their Echoes to preheat a pizza, users need to download a GE instruction set (Amazon prefers the term “skill”) onto the Alexa app. Then, as with all third-party skills, owners must invoke the name of the program — in this case, Geneva — when issuing a command. For example, “Alexa, tell Geneva to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.”
Other Geneva/Alexa skills include oven off, laundry cycle updates, raise/lower water heater temperature, and set oven timer.
“Voice connectivity has a big role in the Internet of Things, as well as in the home,” said GE VP Liz VerSchure, who heads 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 default 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.