Amazon Alexa is coming to your microwave, for some reason

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Amazon is being mocked online for the latest update to its smart personal assistant - Alexa can now control microwaves, saving people the mere "micro" seconds it takes to switch on the device after placing your food inside.

Amazon's smart home business has become the biggest in the market over the last two years thanks to its range of Echo smart speakers - all of which are powered by Alexa.

The functions won't work with existing microwaves, so manufacturers will have to build new smart ovens to support Alexa.

"Customers are increasingly using voice user interfaces as a hands-free way to manage their lives, and hands-free control is especially valuable when cooking", Mass wrote to developers.

The four new skills from Amazon include Alexa.Cooking, Alexa.Cooking.TimeController, Alexa.TimeHoldController, and Alexa.CookingPresetController, says the company.

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"The skill enables customers to easily configure, start, and operate their connected Whirlpool microwaves".

Given you have to be in immediate proximity to a cooker or microwave in order to insert the food, Alexa won't save that much labour.

The upgrades announced by Amazon, Thursday, will initially apply to microwaves before being extended to conventional ovens and other smart cooking appliances.

Whirlpool is the first company to create an Alexa skill for its connected microwaves, and Amazon said it'll be launching "soon" in the U.S., so we wouldn't be surprised if the first AI-controlled microwaves made an appearance at CES next week. Appliance makers are able define their different cooking modes that are discoverable within the Alexa app, which means users will be able to access modes such as "defrost" in products such as Whirlpool's line of connected microwaves.

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