If the idea of household appliances becoming sentient and destroying the world keeps you up at night, avert your eyes now.
General Electric has added yet another smart appliance to its growing collection: an air conditioner that responds to voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa.
GE launched its Alexa skill, Geneva, last year to allow connected device users to operate or check on appliances with voice commands. The new air conditioner joins GE ovens, refrigerators, laundry machines and dishwashers that work with Geneva.
Users are able to ask Geneva to do things like turn the air conditioner on or off, set it to a specific temperature or turn on an energy saver mode.
The company also rolled out two new features in the Geneva skill Wednesday: the ability to check if any connected appliances are running and to connect multiple appliances of the same type to one account. Plus, the skill will now make Alexa speak with “more personality, making her sound like a part of the family.”
The company has previously integrated some connected appliances with Amazon’s dash program, like this dishwasher that will automatically reorder detergent when it is running low.
While the tech-heavy appliances may seem silly or unnecessary, they can also have very real impacts for some customers. William Gardner, the program manager for voice integration at GE, told GeekWire in a past interview that the appliances could make a big difference for customers who have mobility issues or other disabilities.