Amazon's first Amazon Go store opened on the 22nd, and the high-tech checkout-free grocery concept hasn't really left the news cycle since. Journalists and YouTubers have shoplifted, with varying degrees of success; a community petition has circulated to make the store accept SNAP foodstamp benefits, and alarms have been raised about the threat it poses to existing retail jobs.
The hype surrounding Amazon Go has been so powerful, in fact, that you could be forgiven for missing some quieter - but equally high-tech - moves Amazon has been making toward sewing up the entire food experience.
At CES, gadget maker Ovie revealed SmarterWare, a smart food storage system that syncs with Alexa. Simply say what you're putting in each container, and toss them in the fridge. The virtual assistant will determine each item's time until spoilage and alert you when your leftovers start to get a little dodgy.
Alexa has also been given the ability to control select microwaves, with Whirlpool the first to integrate the expanded API into their devices. She can even listen to a description of what you're cooking and determine the correct preset. A conventional oven is on the way, too, but we're just looking forward to hearing a voice tell us our food is ready and finally bid adieu to the five beeps.
Amazon's plan for retail dominance extends beyond its own Go and Whole Foods stores, too - a pilot program here in New York has placed Echo devices inside the Bottle Rocket Wines and Spirits store to allow shoppers to consult Alexa before buying a bottle of whiskey. The assistant has been set up to only reference items available in-store, and uses a custom "Bottle Genius" skill set to make sure customers leave with the perfect single malt.
Amazon has shown an incredible ability to make a niche for itself in every aspect of consumers' lives. It will take time for the Amazon Go concept to expand significantly, but by leveraging Alexa, Amazon is rapidly laying down the beginnings of an infrastructure - and an accompanying lifestyle - that will make sure consumers stay within their ecosystem right up to the first bite.