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Cool it, Alexa: GE gives Amazon's assistant new air conditioner controls

GE's Geneva skill already lets Alexa control your smart appliances. Now, just in time for summer, it'll put her in control of your window AC unit, too.


Summer's just around the corner, which means that window air conditioner season is in full swing. And, if you're in need of a new one, GE Appliances hopes that new Alexa-enabled voice controls will sway you toward one of its Wi-Fi equipped models.

The air conditioner controls are a new addition to GE's "Geneva" skill for Amazon's Alexa voice control platform, a skill that already lets Alexa control other GE smart appliances like stoves and dishwashers. With the skill enabled on your Alexa device of choice, you can ask the voice-activated virtual assistant to start preheating your oven, to tell you when the dishwasher will finish cleaning or, starting today, to turn your air conditioner up and down. Specific examples of supported commands include:

  • "Alexa, ask Geneva for the air conditioner's status."
  • "Alexa, tell Geneva to set the bedroom air conditioner to 68."
  • "Alexa, tell Geneva to set the air conditioner to energy saver."
  • "Alexa, tell Geneva to set the fan to high."
Now playing: Watch this: You can now control your GE large appliances with Amazon...

As you might have noticed, you'll still need to use the invocation phrase "ask Geneva" or "tell Geneva" before saying your command. That's because Alexa doesn't have air-conditioner-specific programming and needs to draw from the Geneva skill's code to understand your command.

That said, Alexa does have dedicated programming that lets her adjust the temperature of compatible thermostats. GE's team likely could have used that thermostat programming to at least offer temperature changes on its AC units without the "tell Geneva" bit, but it's a good bet that they just wanted to keep everything unified, at least for now. I asked GE about their plans here, and will update this space if I hear back.

Available now, GE's three Alexa-compatible air conditioner models are:

  • GE AEC08LW 8,000 BTU Wi-Fi Window Air Conditioner - $299
  • GE AEC10AW 10,200 BTU Wi-Fi Window Air Conditioner - $349
  • GE AEC12AW 12,000 BTU Wi-Fi Window Air Conditioner - $439