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Amazon announces $60 Alexa-powered microwave with a Dash button for popcorn

Amazon announces $60 Alexa-powered microwave with a Dash button for popcorn

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The e-commerce giant’s first real kitchen appliance

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Amazon has officially announced a microwave oven, the company’s first kitchen appliance product. The device will be sold under the AmazonBasics line, and it will cost $59.99 and ships starting November 14th.

Naturally, it will come with voice-activated presets, so you can inform the microwave how you’d like to cook something and for how long by simply using an Alexa wake phrase and then a duration or a phrase like “frozen vegetables.” The microwave also comes with a built-in Alexa button, so you can avoid saying “Alexa” or “microwave” and simply verbalize the desired cook time or the preset.

The device is powered by Alexa Connect Kit, a low-cost Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi module that brings smart features to standard home appliances by letting them communicate with existing Echo devices. The microwave doesn’t have a full-fledged Alexa functionality — you can’t ask it in the weather.

But it does let you communicate a command through a nearby Echo speaker, which then delivers that command over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the microwave itself. In that sense, the product is effectively a demo for Connect Kit in the form of a real, Alexa-powered microwave you can buy. Amazon is even integrating a popcorn-ordering Dash Replenishment Service, which is the software version of a standard Dash button.

The product unveil confirms a rumor from earlier this week that the company had a smart kitchen appliance in the works for 2018, namely an Alexa-powered microwave oven.