Whirlpool-Amazon Pact to Launch Voice-Controlled Devices

Leading home appliances manufacturer, Whirlpool Corporation WHR has inked a deal with Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN to launch voice-activated home appliances in early 2017. This feature will be accessible through Whirlpool’s skill on Alexa-enabled devices such as Echo and Echo Dot.



Alexa, which is developed by Amazon, an eCommerce giant, enables users to interact or control compatible devices by saying a wake-word or a word which awakens Alexa and makes it functional. This software will allow users to run their smart home equipments with voice commands, enabling them to simultaneously engage in various household chores.

Anything from setting or adjusting the cooking mode of their smart ovens, operating the Wrinkle Shield option on their dryers and washers or switching between modes on various appliances will now be just a command away for Whirlpool users.

Apart from launching voice-controlled products, this deal further enhances the long-built relationship between these companies. Whirlpool and Amazon have long been associated through the Amazon Dash Replenishment in laundry and kitchen products, which enables automatic reordering of products. Going into 2017, the company expects to extend this capability to more products across Whirlpool’s portfolio.

Coming back to the latest pact, Whirlpool’s new Amazon Alexa-enabled capabilities will make its first appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show, which will be held from Jan 5–8 in Las Vegas. The feature will be available on almost all Whirlpool brand smart appliances that will be showcased at this event.

Whirlpool is among the few companies, which heavily invest in technologies to produce differentiated products in order to suit the needs of their end consumers.  We believe this deal strategically fits Whirlpool's practice of providing innovative products to consumers, which helps them develop the home ecosystem.

Further, Whirlpool benefits from its innovation strategy and aptly has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Moreover, its shares have yielded a return of 10.8% in the past three months, comfortably outperforming the Zacks categorized Consumer Discretionary sector’s gain of 2.7%.

Stocks You May Consider

Other favorably placed stocks in the Consumer Discretionary sector include Central Garden & Pet Company CENT and Caleres, Inc. CAL, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Central Garden & Pet, with a long-term earnings growth rate of 10%, has surged 45.1% in the past six months.

Caleres, with a long-term earnings growth rate of 11%, has gained 36% in the past six months.

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