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GE puts Amazon Alexa inside a funky table lamp

11 December 2016
GE puts Amazon Alexa inside a funky table lamp

"We're excited to work with GE Lighting to bring Alexa to their LED lamp and enable new types of voice experiences", said Aaron Brown, Director of Alexa. GE says you'll be able to use it just as you'd use an Echo - just say the wake word, "Alexa", followed by a question or a command.

Cleveland, Ohio-based GE is launching a suite of connected products. GE also tells me that the lamp will make its start in the U.S., as the Echo did, though it wouldn't rule out the possibility of expanding to other countries where Alexa is available, as well. It includes a microphone and a speaker, so you can talk to your lamp, play music from Spotify, and perform any of the dozens of Alexa skills now available.

That means users can tell the lamp to play music, order pizza, or give the latest news, all through voice commands. By stripping out the real brain behind the Echo, and giving others access to it, Amazon let anyone build their own hardware product powered by Alexa, paving the way for the Alexa ecosystem to become the go-to platform for voice-controlled devices. "They just need their voice", added Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products for GE Lighting. That's right, lamps. Case in point: the C lamp by GE Lamp.

"It's really about simplifying and extending an experience for consumers, allowing them to add smart capabilities throughout the home through a really simple form factor Consumers don't need a cell phone, a special switch or a hub".

To propel the connected home experience, GE is not only relying on inventors within its own walls, but drawing inspiration from companies like Amazon, real-world homeowners it's learning from and incubating with everyday inventors.

Microsoft clearly missed an opportunity here; just look at GE Lighting's new LED table lamp (yes, that what it's being called now).

GE says it is developing a suite of connected products under GE Lighting's C by GE brand. The system employs lighting-based motion detection that syncs with security services.

A third idea that GE is considering is for lighting that tracks activity in the home.

But maybe that's because it's now embedded in a lamp.

The lamp, which is circular and LED, will launch in the second-quarter of 2017.