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Alexa, start the washer: Whirlpool makes it possible at CES

CNET logo CNET 04-01-2017 Megan Wollerton
Tyler Lizenby/CNET: <span style="font-size:13px;">Tyler Lizenby/CNET</span>© Provided by CNETTyler Lizenby/CNET

Whirlpool today announced that many of its smart appliances will work with Amazon Alexa starting in "early 2017." The collaboration with Amazon's voice control speakers, the Echo, the Echo Dot and the Tap, will be timed with the release of a suite of new connected Whirlpool appliances.

The team also said customers of existing smart Whirlpool appliances would be able to enable this functionality when Whirlpool's Amazon Alexa Skill goes live.

GE beat Whirlpool to the large appliance-Alexa partnership, though. A number of GE's smart appliances already work with Amazon's voice control speakers via the Geneva Alexa Skill. With GE's Skill, an intermediary assistant named "Geneva" is required. That means you can say phrases like, "Alexa, ask Geneva when the dishwasher will be finished."

According to Whirlpool's official press release, the integration should be more direct so you can say, "Alexa, start the washer/dryer," "Alexa, is the oven on?" and "Alexa, what's the status of my refrigerator filter"?

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