Alexa-Enabled Microwave and Eight Other Amazon Oddities Expected By 2020
Amazon is gearing up to put out at least eight new Alexa-powered devices before the end of next year including a microwave oven, amplifier, subwoofer, and in-car gadget.
I would love to call the move crazy or ambitious, but Amazon has a pretty long leash with unusual products. Even if their Echo Spot or Fire TV Cube haven't absolutely dominated the retail space, their innovations bring a lot to the table. What appears to be a gimmick at the surface level is actually a pretty clever ploy to bring Alexa into every aspect of your home.
It's no secret that companies with voice control want to push into every room of your house - namely the kitchen and bathroom - as well as hop in the car with you - namely Android Auto and Apple Carplay. And for better or for worse, it's about time Amazon pulled out of the non-specific room in your house and stopped updating their line of Echo products. Stiff competition in Apple, Google, Samsung, and the countless third-party manufacturers are all putting some version of voice control (many times multiple assistants) into every corner of the home.
But that competition between speakers doesn't end there, Amazon would be stepping on many appliances manufactures toes with an Alexa-enabled microwave. Our recent visit to IFA showcased a handful of companies looking to put the digital assistant in their microwaves, fridges, and stovetops.
However, it seems that this venture could be two-fold and beneficial to manufacturers. Firstly, Amazon is good - and I mean really good - at collecting and parsing data. They are seeing the same trends as we are and want to get into the kitchen to figure out what their consumers are doing in it. We've read reports from NKBA that suggest many consumers enjoy all the usual suspects in surfing the web, checking recipes, and listening to music in the kitchen. Amazon would be able to quantify just how much of that is being done and how they can improve on those points.
Dovetailing into that, Amazon would then be able to offer a more robust experience. Their ability to think out the box without the burden of expectation could create a really unique experience. The kicker is that only Alexa can deliver that experience. So maybe manufacturers can embrace the Alexa kitchen takeover and let the multi-billion dollar company do all the heavy lifting for consumer offerings.