General Electric Putting Amazon’s Alexa to Work

By: | January 17th, 2017

Amazon-Echo

Amazon-Echo (Image Courtesy www.amazon.com)

Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is now being integrated into consumer electronics products of all kinds. And the competition between Amazon’s Echo/Alexa, Google’s Now, and Apple’s Siri is just heating up.

A More Natural & Convenient User Interface

General Electric Lighting recently created a new LED table lamp that has Amazon’s Alexa voice controls embedded in it. Alexa is currently capable of more than three thousand voice activated skills including ordering Uber or Lyft, ordering pizza, calling Grandma, and telling jokes. GE has its own virtual assistant named “Geneva,” which can set the oven timer or start the dishwasher.

Controlling Devices in the New Smart Home

This was anticipated by Amazon when it first created Echo, the 10-inch tall smart home appliance, and Alexa, the personal virtual assistant. GE’s new LED table lamp is voice controlled, has microphones and a speaker, and uses “smart switches” to allow the owner to turn the lights on and off without using a traditional switch. In addition, the lamp announces the latest headlines and weather on command. Amazon’s Alexa is now being integrated into a number of GE’s Wi-Fi enabled appliances including thermostats and light bulbs.

In addition to providing appliances with voice capabilities, GE has also developed appliance modules such as the GE Z-Wave Smart Lighting Control Florescent Light and Appliance Module. These types of modules can convert a number of appliances into voice-controlled appliances.

Not to be outdone, Apple’s NEST technology has a developer program which allows the development of software and hardware in the integration of thermostats and other sensors with appliances, cars, garage doors, lights, and locks. Phillips has similar products for smart homes including the Phillips Hue App.

Following is a video comparing Amazon Echo with Apple’s Siri.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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