Amazon and Alphabet's subsidiary Google both discounted their virtual assistant speakers so deeply over the holiday shopping season that they likely lost a few dollars per unit, highlighting a sharply different strategy from Apple as it prepares its HomePod speaker, analysts said.
Could Alexa be the next big thing in 2018?
If true, this development is actually not that surprising given that Amazon was already hinting that they will eventually launch a paid search ad product for Alexa.
Both companies cut prices for the smallest version of their speakers, the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini, to as little as $29 from $50 for the United States holidays. Today we are excited to introduce cooking capabilities as part of the Smart Home Skill API. Instead of pressing multiple buttons to enable advanced microwave features, users can simply use their voices. The move will lead to June adding Alexa commands once oven support is available.
Initially, there are four new capability interfaces in the Smart Home Skill API and it includes Alexa.Cooking, Alexa.Cooking.TimeController, Alexa.TimeHoldController, and Alexa.CookingPresetController.
CIRP's data on the buying habits of Amazon shoppers indicate that the company's voice-enabled Echo devices are associated with higher spending.
GE Appliances, LG, Samsung, and Kenmore also plan to add Alexa support for their ovens, as well as other appliances, at some point in the future.
Amazon got a head start this year in moving Alexa from speakers to screens, first with the 7-inch Echo Show smart display, and then with the diminutive Echo Spot alarm clock.
The catch, as you might imagine, is that your ovens and microwaves need to support this feature, and nearly all "smart" versions now don't.
But then, Apple wasn't first in the smartphone game either - and we all know how that turned out for the Cupertino company.