Smart Home

Amazon Smart Oven: New Alexa device is air-fryer, microwave, convection oven in one

Now we’re cookin’. 

James Martin/CNET

Alexa wants to be a Julia Child for the smart home set. On Wednesday, at its annual event in Seattle, Amazon unveiled its latest Alexa-compatible kitchen countertop appliance: the Smart Oven. It’s an everyday microwave that adds convection cooking, air fryer and food warmer. Alexa will let you know when to stir the food or when it’s finished. 

With the Scan to Cook feature, you can also use your Alexa app or the Echo Show to start scanning prepackaged foods from stores like Whole Foods and automatically program the oven to cook. The Smart Oven starts at $249 and comes with an Echo Dot smart speaker.

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Amazon plans to expand the number of products that work with the Alexa Connect Kit. The kit gives developers new ways to invent Alexa-compatible products for the home. Its capabilities step in when Bluetooth is limited and Wi-Fi is out of range. 

Last year, Amazon released an Alexa-compatible microwave and clock. Both products are affordable extensions of the Alexa family made possible by the Alexa Connect Kit. Amazon announced the Alexa Connect Kit program last year as part of an initiative to make it easier for third-party hardware makers to develop Alexa-compatible products.

The 700-watt AmazonBasics Microwave costs $60 and can connect with a nearby Alexa device like the Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show in the kitchen. The microwave responds to preset voice commands and can reheat liquids, frozen or regular food items, vegetables, meat and more. 

The Amazon Echo Wall Clock, a $30 analog clock that runs off four double-A batteries, can also sync with a nearby Echo device. The Echo sets the time and maintains it, even when daylight saving time starts. The LED hash marks around the clock’s face provide a visual representation of the timers you’ve set. You can see multiple timers, and all the LEDs flash.

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