Sharp brings Alexa Smarts into its microwave ovens – Dealerscope
Sharp Home Electronics Co. of America (SHCA), whose countertop microwave ovens continue to be popular with a wide variety of consumers, are now upping the ante on features and performance for this category of small appliances with the announcement that they will begin shipping from the third week of December two new Wi-Fi-enabled models with compatibility with Alexa voice commands when using the Alexa app or an Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Echo Dot.
Sharp has a solid footing in this area of equipment with its existing models and is expanding its unique partnership with Orville Redenbacher – its current ovens have a setting designed to optimize the bang performance of this brand’s microwave popcorn. Both new Alexa-enabled models are also “tuned” for the Popcorn brand.
First-time models include the mid-size, 1.1 cubic foot ($ 149.99) SMC1139FS that can respond to 30 Alexa voice commands and the family-sized SMC1449FS of 1.4 cubic feet (169.99) $ 99) Response to 70 specific Alexa commands. The sheer volume of preset commands shows our commitment to the oven cavity. These are fully in line with Sharp’s “first-to-the-market” mentality, “said Jim Sanduski, president of SHCA, to Dealerscope, adding that they are the product of Sharp’s engineering acumen and a collaboration of more than a year with the company are Alexa Team.
“These models make Alexa even smarter,” he says. “You’re taking the microwave to the next level – the gourmet level.”
Peter Weedfald & Jim Sanduski
Sanduski also points out that they outperform previous Alexa-enabled microwave ovens on the market by offering a more generous internal cavity size. In addition, its functionality is enhanced by numerous cooking presets (10 on the smaller model and 50 on the larger model) for food that is not listed on the control panel. Users can command the devices to start or stop, add minutes to the cooking cycle and even request a different power level.
“Our timing with these products is great,” Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. in America, told Dealerscope. “With more than 80 million people in the US having smart speakers, 70 percent of whom are Alexa-enabled, that’s one in five people in America prepared for products like this that connect. “
In addition, Weedfald adds, these modes fulfill Sharp’s brand promise of ‘Simply Better Living’.
“This is a real win for us,” he continues, noting that Sharp has sold 140 million microwave ovens worldwide since 1962 and how these new models serve to cement Sharp’s legacy and leadership in this category. He says Sharp is planning a strong launcher to aid their rollout.
The devices are not only Alexa-enabled, but also have one-touch controls, Express Cook and the Sharp Carousel turntable system, as well as an easy-to-clean surface made of brushed stainless steel. As soon as Wi-Fi is connected, the correct time is even set on the white LED front display.