Coming Soon: Updated Smart Home Skill API Enables Alexa to Control More Types of Cooking Appliances

Sumiko Courtney Oct 11, 2019
Connected Devices News

Last year, we introduced cooking capabilities in the Smart Home Skill API that allow you to enable customers to control microwave ovens and other appliances that cook by time or preset. Coming soon, we are enhancing the cooking capabilities to allow you to enable Alexa control of conventional ovens, pressure cookers, coffee makers, toasters, slow cookers, and more, and to enable customers to check cooking progress from other rooms in the house using Alexa. GE Appliances, Instant Pot, June Oven, LG, Traeger, and Whirlpool are already working with the updated API. Next year, we will also enable you to use Alexa to make announcements on cooking status and to support Scan-to-Cook for packaged foods.

Cook by Mode, Time, Temperature, and Doneness

Currently, the cooking interface supports four cooking modes: defrost, preset, reheat, and timecook. Coming soon, you can use 40 different modes, including air-fry, bake, pressure cook, roast, and slow cook, and can enable customer commands like "Alexa, cook ribeye steak to medium rare in the oven." We're also adding the ability for you to enable direct control of the oven temperature and food temperature. With the new Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureController, you can enable customers to set the temperature on a device without specifying a duration, by saying, for example, “Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.“ This is particularly useful for devices that need to preheat, like an oven or sous-vide. With the new Alexa.Cooking.FoodTemperatureController, you can enable customers to cook food until it reaches a given internal temperature. For example, a customer can say, “Alexa, smoke the pork to 204 degrees in the smoker.” Your customers can even combine mode, temperature, and time, with commands like "Alexa, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes."

Use Alexa to Report Cooking Status

In addition to enabling customers to control your cooking devices with Alexa, soon you can enable them to check on appliance status and cooking progress without even entering the kitchen. When you implement the new Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureSensor and Alexa.Cooking.FoodTemperatureSensor, you enable customers to query current status by voice. For example, a customer could say, “Alexa, what is the temperature of my oven?” or “Alexa, when will the food be done in the oven?” 

Next year, we will enable you to initiate Alexa announcements from your device to proactively alert customers at important moments, such as when the oven is done preheating, the food needs to be stirred, or dinner is done. This allows customers to start the cooking process, and then move on to other tasks, knowing that your device and Alexa will alert them when needed. For example, the customer may use the chicken breast preset, “Alexa, cook chicken breast in my oven”, to start heating the oven to the preset temperature. When the desired temperature has been reached, Alexa will say, “Your oven is preheated,” so the customer knows to add the food. When the chicken pieces need to be flipped halfway through baking, the device can announce through Alexa, “It’s time to flip your food,” and, when the food is done cooking, Alexa can announce, “Your food is done.”

Automate the Cooking Process with Scan-to-Cook

Scan-to-Cook allows customers to scan a box of food with their phone, pop it in the oven and let the oven take care of the rest of the cooking, automatically setting the mode, cook time and temperature. Next year, you'll be able to enable customers to use Scan-to-Cook with your cooking appliance via Alexa. When a customer uses the Alexa app to scan their packaged food item, Alexa will send a cooking directive to your smart home skill containing the scanned Universal Product Code (UPC) and the cooking instructions for the food. Backing the Scan-to-Cook capability is a database containing cooking instructions for hundreds of packaged foods from brands including Whole Foods Market, 365 Everyday Value, Gardein, Marie Callender’s, and more. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) food manufacturers add new scannable foods to the database every day.

Get Inspired by Other Device Makers

The following products, coming soon, take advantage of the updated cooking APIs:

  • All of GE Appliance's Smart Cooking brands and products, including wall ovens, ranges, microwaves and Advantium ovens.
  • Wifi 6 Quart Multi-cooker from Instant Pot.
  • June Oven from June.
  • SmartThinQ ovens and ranges from LG.
  • WiFIRE connected grills from Traeger, featured on the new Pro, Ironwood, and Timberline series.
  • Smart ovens and ranges from Whirlpool.

"With the new Alexa Cooking API, specifying cook instructions is easier and more intuitive than ever. On the June Oven, we predict how long it will take for your food to be ready. We can share that ETA, estimated time of arrival, by simply asking "Alexa, when will the food in my oven be done?" said Matt Van Horn, CEO at June.

Also, the Amazon Smart Oven, available for pre-order now, takes advantage of the updated cooking API, device initiated announcements, and scan-to-cook to deliver a 4-in-1 convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer that works with Alexa. We built the smart oven using the Alexa Connect Kit and the updated cooking APIs (coming soon), and took learnings from the smart oven effort to improve both products.

Learn More

Sign up here to be notified when more information is available about the cooking API enhancements (coming soon). You can read more now about the Alexa Connect Kit and the existing cooking API.