Gadget makers offer voice controls through Amazon's Alexa

Gadget makers offer voice controls through Amazon's Alexa
A show attendee stands in front of the Sony's CLEDIS display system during a news conference at CES International Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Amazon doesn't have an official presence at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas but its Alexa voice control software seems to be everywhere.

Whirlpool is adding Alexa voice control to its suite of smart-home appliances, including a stove and refrigerator. With that capability, someone can instruct the oven to pre-heat to 400 degrees by speaking a command to an Alexa-enabled device, such as Amazon's Echo speaker.

Jason Mathew, senior director of global connected strategy for Whirlpool, says voice is "the most natural way to interact with a product."

Other gadgets that include Alexa: Sensory and OnVocal are both launching headphones that incorporate Alexa. Simplehuman is announcing a voice-activated trash can. And GE Lighting is launching a table lamp that includes Alexa software.

Amazon has an edge on the market for now because its software has been out longer, but Google's and Apple's systems are catching up. Mathew says "Amazon is the most mature, but we expect to offer other options in the future."

  • Gadget makers offer voice controls through Amazon's Alexa
    A dancer performs in front of Sony Alpha a99 II DSLR cameras during a news conference at CES International Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
  • Gadget makers offer voice controls through Amazon's Alexa
    A refrigerator with Family Hub 2.0 is on display during a Samsung news conference before CES International, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. Family Hub 2.0 features an interface on the refrigerator with apps that can be controlled by voice recognition. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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