Hisense's latest 4K TVs will include Amazon Alexa

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Did you get a new Amazon "smart speaker" over the holidays? Starting today, third-party manufacturers who make these ovens, will be able to link their devices in the US, with support for other countries following.

Alexa-powered ovens and microwaves are going to become a thing in 2018. Amazon says that support for other cooking appliances will be added later. Now you can build skills to enable customers in the United States to control their microwave ovens using Alexa.

The Hisense TVs already have quite a few features using the company's TV platform, which allows users to access popular apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, TikiLIVE and much more. Hisense has revealed that some of its 2018 4K TVs will include Amazon Alexa, letting you control both the set itself and your smart home. Did you know that the Echo and other Amazon devices can read your local news to you, in addition to adjusting the lights, checking weather and playing music?

Amazon's Alexa AI tech is set to be expanded - with a deal in the pipeline for advertising to be pumped direct to users' devices.

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Being the first brand in Alexa's search results would also be especially valuable, because shoppers are more likely to select the first option available when they can't physically scroll down to see other brands.

So with the built-in cooking device controls in the Smart Home Skill API, users will now find it easier to control their cloud-connected microwave. Instead of pressing umpteen buttons, you can simply ask Alexa to "defrost 3lbs of chicken". Whilst Amazon has a variety of vendor partners, it's not certain how rapidly support will roll out. GE, Kenmore, LG and Samsung will also sell new products with Alexa.

It sounds like a useful area for Amazon to expand Alexa's reach, since people often have their hands full while cooking and appliances' interfaces are often pretty cramped and confusing.

This year, smart speaker shipments in the United States are expected to reach 38.4 million units. Do let us know in the comments.