Voice control has been very quickly creeping into more aspects of the home, which we’re not complaining about in the least. The spoken word is becoming the next-gen user interface with its promise of simplicity and convenience. There’s still plenty of work to be done in order for voice control to supplant something like the smartphone as the main gateway to interacting with the smart home, but we’re a lot closer today than we were even a year or two ago. And the latest example of the expanding voice control ecosystem comes courtesy of GE Appliances.
The brand, which has been among the industry leaders in implementing smart technologies into their products, officially announced the launch of Google Assistant on their WiFi-ready countertop microwaves. So, now, with a simple “Hey Google” command, users will be able to set their microwave to run for a certain amount of time, adjust the power level, check how much time is left, and more.
“The kitchen is the place where your hands are often full and messy at any given time–you could be using your oven, microwave, cutting board, cooktop, all while catching up with your partner about the day or helping your child with a math problem,” Jeremy Miller, commercial director, SmartHome Solutions for GE Appliances, said in a statement. “By bringing the Google Assistant to our GE connected microwaves, you can now continue caramelizing onions, while stopping your special sauce from boiling over in the microwave—all without lifting a finger. It saves time, and it can also save dinner.”
The countertop microwave joins a long list of GE Appliances products that now tie into the Google Assistant voice platform, including the company’s refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, window air conditioners, and their new Kitchen Hub. Setting up existing GE Appliances WiFi-enabled countertop microwaves to work with Google Assistant is done simply through the GE Appliances Kitchen App, which then ties into the Google Home app.
Adding another layer of smarts to their countertop microwaves, GE Appliances highlighted the scan-to-cook feature that these WiFi-enabled appliances have. With scan-to-cook, users can scan the barcode on a food product, which the microwave can then read and analyze to recommend cooking times and power levels for “perfect results.”
GE Appliances’ connected countertop microwaves are available at retail stores across the country and online with an MSRP of $144.00.