In Jeff Bezos’s vision of the future, microwaving a potato is a multi-step, error-ridden, complicated affair.
This much was made clear at a press event in Seattle today, where Amazon unveiled a host of new household products that integrate with the company’s voice assistant, Alexa. In doing so, Amazon succeeded in more than just debuting a voice-controlled microwave. Indeed, in the course of today’s IRL informercial the company managed to do something much more remarkable: give life to the adage that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
The microwave, which in a video captured by BuzzFeed reporter Nicole Nguyen seems needlessly complicated and appears to take much longer to operate than the old fashioned, non voice-controlled version, was only just one of the many examples of Amazon insisting on putting Alexa where no one wanted.
Take, for example, the Amazon Smart Plug. This nifty little gadget allows you to essentially integrate Alexa into every device that has a plug — assuming you already have an Echo or other Alexa-powered devices in your home.
Want your non-smart coffee maker to turn on with a voice request? The Amazon Smart Plug will help you do that.
Of course, you’ll still have to walk over to the thing, grind the coffee, put it and a filter in the machine, and pour in your desired amount of water. But hey, for the low price of $25 you didn’t have to hit that “On” switch!
The future is truly now.
But wait, there’s more. Let’s say you happen to already own an Echo Show, and a Ring front-door camera. What would be even better, Amazon wants us to believe, is if you could ask Alexa to talk to your outside visitors.
In an Amazon blog post, the company provides an example of what that might sound like: “Alexa talk to the front door camera.”
We are finally one step closer to being able to tell the pizza delivery guy, from the comfort of our Echo-enabled bathroom, to “just leave it on the stoop and get out of here.” Imagine the possibilities.
And we haven’t even got to the fun of Alexa Guard. The aforementioned blog post tells us that the service “integrates Echo devices, smart lights, and security service providers to help customers protect their homes while they’re away.”
All you have to do is tell Alexa that you’re leaving, and “Alexa will notify you if she detects the sound of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or glass breaking while you’re away.”
Which, we should all definitely want Amazon protecting our homes. The company has done such a good job of it so far, after all.
The Echo Wall Clock is also nothing to scoff at.
According to Amazon, you can “[use] your voice to start a timer with your compatible Echo device and easily see how much time is remaining on your clock.”
With Alexa doing everything for you, and your subsequent inability to read an analog clock, you will even be able to ask your Echo to tell you what time the clock displays. Exciting, right?
The massive push by Amazon to connect every single device in your home to Alexa shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company wants its whispering robot voice to be your go-to for everything in your day to day life.
Time will tell if any of its customers feel the same way.
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