Alexa's smart home skills aren't just for turning on the lights or locking your door these days -- now, they can help fulfill your culinary ambitions. Amazon has added cooking abilities to its Smart Home Skill framework, letting you control microwaves (and eventually conventional ovens) with your voice. Instead of pressing umpteen buttons, you can simply ask Alexa to "defrost 3lbs of chicken." Suffice it to say this could be helpful if you don't want to start cooking right away, or if you just hate your microwave's interface.
Expect to see the cooking features in use very soon. Whirlpool has already created its own Alexa skill for microwaves, and plans to launch it "soon." GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG and Samsung have also committed to working on skills for their own ovens and "more appliances." Also, Amazon is putting its money where its mouth is. It's investing in June Life, the company behind the connected June Oven. The move will lead to June adding Alexa commands once oven support is available. All told, Amazon clearly hopes to become a mainstay in the kitchen -- the only button you may have to press is the one to open your microwave door.