Amazon is partnering with outside retailers to expand the compatibility of its new digital assistant Alexa with non-Amazon products. Amazon just sealed its latest partnership with struggling retailer Sears, which will now supply Kenmore appliances to Amazon that will be Alexa-enabled.
Following the announcement of the partnership, Sears stock jumped 19 percent, an encouraging sign that could prompt other struggling retailers to partner up with Amazon. The Kenmore appliances join a growing list of products that will work by responding to voice commands powered by the digital assistant. Virginia-based builder Brookfield Residential has created a model smart home that lets residents control almost everything by voice, from the lights inside to the sprinklers outside, thanks to Alexa.
In a promotional video on the company’s YouTube channel, Brookfield’s president Bob Hubbell said, “We live our lives with technology, and the home is kind of behind that curve. We need to bring it up to speed. So we’re trying to automate our homes to kind of fit the lifestyle of our buyers.”
Certainly sounds nice, but if you’re not quite ready to shell out the cash for one of Brookfield’s fully integrated smart homes, there are plenty of devices you can use in your current home that come equipped with Alexa, and the list is growing everyday. Some non-Amazon products with Alexa inside currently include:
- Multiple GE products like washers, ovens, air conditioners and refrigerators (With products like the LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator you can use Alexa to do things like create a shopping list or see what’s inside your refrigerator)
- Smartwatches like the iMCO watch
- Wireless smart speakers like the GGMM E5
- Smartphones like the UTC U11
- Smart alarm clocks like the Vobot
Most non-Amazon products won’t come with Alexa fully integrated off the shelf, but they can follow voice commands via Alexa by enabling them as skills, which can be done on the skills page on Amazon.com. Some of these products include:
- Robot vacuums
- WiFi smart plugs
- Light bulbs/light strips
- Cameras and home security
- Garage doors
- Smart locks
Most of these require the use of a smart home hub to communicate with Alexa.