January 18, 2017
8:59 am

Whirlpool Adding Alexa Capabilities

Lots of people got Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot for Christmas this season and have been enjoying their "always on" access to on-demand information of all sorts from Alexa, but now that technology is making its way into a considerably more meaningful platform in the form of new smart appliances for your home. Whirlpool Corporation is collaborating with the team at Amazon to usher in a whole new suite of home appliances that are responsive to your voice command and control.

Early here in the new year, the Benton Harbor-based appliance giant will be launching new smart appliances across its portfolio of brands which will feature voice control capabilities through Alexa enabled devices.
 
By helping families adjust the temperature of their oven or change their wash cycle with their voice, the voice control capabilities through Alexa devices will simplify and improve consumers' busy lives.

Brett Dibkey is Vice President of Integrated Business Units at Whirlpool Corporation. He says, "As we continue to explore innovative solutions, we always want to do so with consumers' habits and needs in mind." He says, "As demand for a smart home ecosystem grows, consumers are looking for a wide variety of new ways to interact with their appliances, whether it's on-product, digitally with an app, or through voice control."

Consumers will be able to use their Amazon Alexa devices to ask Alexa to help with a host of tasks on appliances across the Whirlpool Corporation portfolio:

 
  • Consumers can ask Alexa to pause and start washers and dryers; turn on/off quiet mode; tell the dryer to run the Wrinkle Shield option; ask if the washer or dryer is running; and ask for the time remaining on a wash or dry cycle.
  • In the kitchen, consumers can use Alexa to interact with smart ovens to set and adjust the cooking mode, temperature and time; ask whether the oven is on; ask how much time is remaining on the oven timer; ask for the current oven temperature; set, start and stop the oven timer.
  • Consumers can also interact with refrigerators to turn on/off maximum ice and maximum cool settings; ask for refrigerator filter status; ask for current refrigerator temperatures; and set pantry drawer temperature modes.

Rob Pulciani is Director of Amazon Alexa. He says, "Now any customer with a far-field Alexa enabled device can control most smart appliances made by Whirlpool Corporation, simply using their voice." He adds, "Our customers will love the added convenience of hands-free controls while they're prepping for dinner or finishing that last load of laundry."

The collaboration of Alexa expands on the success of Whirlpool Corporation's relationship with Amazon, which also includes Amazon Dash Replenishment in laundry and kitchen products. The collaboration has proven popular with busy consumers, who have benefited from the ease and simplicity of automatic reordering of products and never having to experience that 'ran out of it' moment. In early 2017, this capability will be extended to more appliance models across the Whirlpool Corporation portfolio.

Whirlpool's Dibkey says, "We're eager to continue working with Amazon as it is a leader in e-commerce and automated replenishment, as well as voice control." He notes, "The capabilities this relationship brings to our portfolio of appliances reinforces Whirlpool Corporation's commitment to purposeful innovation."

Whirlpool Corporation will first showcase the new Amazon Alexa capabilities—available through the Whirlpool skill on Alexa enabled devices like Echo and Echo Dot—on nearly every Whirlpool brand smart appliance on display at this week's CES 2017 in Las Vegas. From tomorrow, January 5th, through Sunday the 8th, CES attendees can experience the new Alexa skill at booth #41730 in the Smart Home section, located at the Sands Expo Center.

The Whirlpool skill for Amazon Alexa will be available in early 2017.
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