Amazon Alexa is coming to more devices including a microwave
Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are the two most popular personal assistants in the market. The Alexa-powered Amazon Echo lineup of smart speakers and the Google Assistant-powered Google Home speakers dominate the smart speaker market. Alexa and the Google Assistant now power hardware in different product categories such as smart displays. Now, a CNBC report states that Amazon is “doubling down” on its Alexa-powered devices, as it plans to release at least eight new voice-controlled hardware devices before the end of the year.
The Alexa-enabled upcoming devices include a microwave oven, an amplifier, a receiver, a subwoofer, and an in-car gadget, among others. All devices will be Alexa-enabled, and some will also have Alexa built-in.
Citing an internal document describing Amazon’s plans, CNBC states that Amazon is expected to reveal some of these devices at an event later this month. The new devices will help realize Amazon’s ambition of making Alexa ubiquitous in the customer’s home and in their car.
The report notes that Alexa was initially considered “a geeky experiment” at Amazon, but it is now one of the most popular voice assistants as it leads the growth of the smart speaker market. The upcoming products will mark Amazon’s first step into the home appliances field, and CNBC notes that this will thereby put the company in direct competition with companies like Sonos and GE. Sonos has an amplifier and subwoofer that works with Alexa, while GE has a smart microwave that can be connected to and controlled with Alexa. Garmin, too, has an Alexa-compatible dash cam that can be used in a car.
Amazon declined to comment to CNBC regarding the report. The report notes that the upcoming amplifier can be used as the central audio panel to control multiple speakers set up across a users’ home, while the upcoming microwave can bring Alexa in the home’s kitchen.
Amazon is also reported to be working on a secretive home robot. The company acquired Ring, a smart doorbell maker that also makes Alexa-compatible devices, earlier this year. The CNBC report also noted that having its own home appliances opens a new sales channel for Amazon, as the company can partner with smart home installation companies to bring its Alexa-powered devices to more homes. Sonos has a similar business model.
Amazon is already aware of this. A few months ago, it partnered with home builder Lennar to include two Echo speakers in certain new homes and provide visits by Amazon technicians.
The CEO of Amazon has already made clear his ambition to make Alexa more widely used, as the company wants customers to be able to use the assistant wherever they are. With eight new Alexa-enabled devices, the company is working along that goal.