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Hey, Alexa, Why is Amazon Making a Microwave?

By The New York Times

Amazon announced more than a dozen devices and tools for its Alexa voice assistant, including a microwaveRead full story

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  • This Times piece includes a nice brief discussion of Amazon’s approach to product development and innovation overall, especially as contrasted with that of Apple. It’s also interesting to see how Amazon appears to see Alexa capability as an important driver of product selection, rather than as a feature. I’m not sure this makes sense, as it might be appealing to consumers. Even in the case of microwaves, there are different consumers with different preferences, so one model might not appeal to all

    This Times piece includes a nice brief discussion of Amazon’s approach to product development and innovation overall, especially as contrasted with that of Apple. It’s also interesting to see how Amazon appears to see Alexa capability as an important driver of product selection, rather than as a feature. I’m not sure this makes sense, as it might be appealing to consumers. Even in the case of microwaves, there are different consumers with different preferences, so one model might not appeal to all consumers interested in Alexa-enabled microwaves. On the other hand, it could be a catalyst or demonstration product to stimulate other manufacturers to adopt Alexa functionality.

    With the discussion of Alexa Guard, we also see Amazon’s broad thinking about platforms, as Alexa could be a formidable challenge to security offerings from Canary and SimpliSafe. It will be interesting to see where general purpose devices replace previously specific ones, e.g. phones replacing several other devices such as cameras, and where specific devices remain preferred by consumers.

  • Heather Jones
    Heather Jones

    I have to say, the idea of telling my microwave to cook at 50 percent for 30 seconds instead of having to push several buttons in a different order according to the microwave is appealing.

  • JJ Brennan
    JJ BrennanMan At The Top at Blue Spruce Productions

    You know why? Because it wants to make enough popcorn to shove in your mouth to keep you quiet Alexa.

  • Ryuga Maeda
    Ryuga MaedaCEO at Umeex

    Beccause it's cheap and easy to be manufactured...

  • David Landau
    David LandauManaging Partner

    Haha was wondering the same thing

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