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.