Whirlpool, the world’s number one major home appliance manufacturer, is adding Amazon Alexa support to a number of its up and coming smart home appliances, due later in 2017. This new technology will provide customers of an existing Amazon Alexa device with the ability to integrate and change the set up of a number of appliances, effectively adding voice control. Whirlpool’s Vice President of Integrated Business Units, Brett Dibkey, explained that the company will “continue to explore innovative solutions” but takes into account customer’s habits and needs. The new portfolio of smart appliances will be able to be controlled via the product itself, a smartphone or tablet application or using the Amazon Alexa voice technology as incorporated into the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers.
Whirlpool have stated that customers will be able to tell Alexa to start or pause washing machine and dryers, enable or disable quiet mode, tell the dryer to run the proprietary Wrinkle Shield option, ask for the remaining time on the wash or dry cycle, and ask if the machine is running. Whirlpool’s new smart ovens will allow consumers to set or adjust the cooking mode and temperature, ask about the oven status (including if it is on or off, how long remains on the timer and the temperature), plus the ability to set, start or stop the oven timer. Finally, for Whirlpool’s range of smart refrigerators, the Alexa service will be able to turn on or off the maximum ice and maximum cool setting, inquire about the refrigerator filter status, as about current temperatures and pantry drawer temperature modes.
Whirlpool adding Amazon’s Alexa technology to their new range of 2017 smart home appliances further strengthens the relationship between the two brands. For Whirlpool, adding an established and growing smart home control system to their new family of products will increase the flexibility and appeal of these appliances. And of course for Amazon, as Alexa is adopted by more and more partners the platform will mature and broaden in appeal. Unfortunately, one detail that Whirlpool have not revealed is when the portfolio of Alexa-enabled smart appliances will be launched beyond “early 2017.” Whirlpool have also not said that they are to incorporate Alexa control support into their older smart home appliances, but may reveal this information in the coming days.