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Smart Home

Amazon's microwave works with Alexa, automatically reorders popcorn

"Alexa, heat up my Hot Pocket."

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Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, discusses the AmazonBasics microwave at Amazon headquarters Thursday.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The AmazonBasics Microwave costs $60 and is available for preorder on Amazon.

Ry Crist/CNET

Amazon will begin to sell its own brand of Wi-Fi-connected microwaves that will respond to voice commands, the company announced Thursday at its headquarters in Seattle. The $60 AmazonBasics Microwave will work with Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated, internet-connected digital assistant. It will also include Dash Replenishment Services, which means it can automatically order popcorn from Amazon. You can preorder the microwave starting today, and Amazon will begin to ship them later this year.

Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, said the company decided to add Alexa capabilities to the microwave in part because the user interface of the appliance "is stuck in the late '70s." Amazon equipped the microwave with the new Alexa Connect Kit, a toolkit that lets developers create Wi-Fi-connected smart home products that connect to Amazon-managed cloud services.

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You'll still need an Alexa-powered speaker near the microwave for it to work with Alexa so you can give commands like, "Alexa, reheat one cup of coffee," and automatically start a cook setting for that specific action. There's also an "Ask Alexa" button on the touchscreen control panel, which you can press and say the time you want something to cook or the item you want to cook without the need to say "Alexa" first.

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