The Amazon Echo just got a lot smarter

Andrew Cummings
October 12, 2017

A single Alexa account can support up to 10 unique voices, the spokesperson said.

Voice profiles will replace Alexa voice training. Amazon sees uses for voice-activated devices in every room of the home, as well as in cars and hotels.

Amazon today announced that Alexa-enabled devices are now able to recognize unique human voices, giving the assistant the power to deliver personalized experiences when it hears you speak. You'll have to repeat ten sentences over to train Alexa that it's your voice. The original Echo was first made available in late 2014 for select Amazon Prime subscribers, and that means the Alexa AI has been learning new tricks and features for almost three years.

Amazon tells us that the voice recognition feature will extend across the entire range of Alexa devices, as well as numerous third-party Alexa devices not made by Amazon.

At launch, the feature is compatible with Flash Briefings, shopping, Amazon Music's family plan and Alexa to Alexa calling, adding the name of the specific user to incoming calls.

Google Home had voice recognition capabilities in April, so Amazon's announcement marks the latest move between the companies to meet or top each other's voice assistant. For instance, if I tell Alexa simply to "play music", she'll start playing songs based on my preferences. Additional voice recognition use cases are on the way, Amazon says.

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