Every new Alexa feature announced at Amazon’s Sept. 24 event

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Ben Fox Rubin / Tips Clear

Amazon’s annual hardware event Has come and gone, and with it we’ve seen new Alexa features for your Echo speakers, displays, and other voice-powered devices. Alexa has continued to expand its reach, connecting with more than 140,000 smart home devices, and installing more than 100 million Alexa-compatible devices on its user base. But the power of voice assistant is not just in itself Rapidly increasing scale.

When I spoke to Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Smart Home and Alexa Mobile before the hardware event, he said that Alexa is becoming very independent. Alexa will soon be able to act hunches In addition to a wake up word to react to listening and listening without asking, and to protect your home more actively Upgrade to alexa guard.

All this is called the “home of the surroundings” Roche, to which Alexa is ready to respond [to voice commands], But more predictive and proactive. “

Alexa’s biggest upgrade is coming here.

Alexa Guard Plus

Amazon has rolled out and expanded Alexa Guard In the past few years you can monitor your home while you are away. When it is activated, the guard will listen for glass breaking, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and footsteps and other signs of break-in, and will send you a mobile alert.

The company is now offering some names Alexa Guard PlusA subscription service that runs for $ 4.99 per month, and it adds some features on top of standard offerings. First, Guard Plus will add a more robust “activity sound” detector, which will listen for opening or closing doors and other sounds associated with unwanted visitors. Second, Guard Plus will feature features, for example barking at recording dogs to trigger Alexa if a security camera sneaks around behind someone’s house while you’re away. Finally, Guard Plus will add a new hands-free emergency help line operated by a third-party company, to connect users with emergency services such as the police, fire department or emergency liaison.

Amazon announced support for Alexa Guard Plus from a variety of hardware partners, including Dham, Wyze, Amazon’s own ring, A3 Smart Home, Scout And Resideo. You can read more about Guard Plus in our follow-up story.

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Tyler Lizenby / Tips Clear

Upgraded hanch

For more than a year now, Amazon has been speeding up the use of Hunch – those instances when Alexa suggests an action, such as closing your front door as if you’re turning off the lights for the night . In fact, Smart home Actions that take place through Alexa, Rausch states, that one in five are initiated by Alexa, rather than the user’s voice command.

With Amazon’s new upgrade to Hunch, Alexa will be able to take some action without asking. This means, if you are traveling, Alexa can automatically turn off your basement lights. As you might expect, there may be some problems. But Rausch came to believe when we said that the Alexa app would help users maintain control over what Alexa is capable of deciding on its own, and by checking with users to perform automated actions “loop” Off “. . In addition, some devices – such as smart door locks – are not included in the hunch upgrade, so as to avoid issues such as stepping out of your home during a midnight snack run.

Sound detector routine

In addition to answering Amazon’s traditional wake words for Alexa, such as “Hey, Alexa,” or “Hey, computer,” even “Hey Samuel, “For you fan of Samuel L. Jackson, soon you will be able to trigger the routine with various sounds like a dog barking, a baby crying or someone snoring. Rausch said that these sounds work similar to the word wake. Will do what you allow. For example to trigger various smart home actions, to turn on your bedside lamp when your newborn cries or turn off the TV when you start snoring.

According to Rausch, some of these sounds, such as when a child is crying, will not be sent to the cloud to maintain privacy. But this new feature will certainly raise questions about privacy, especially around how Alexa interprets different sounds as a specific type of trigger.

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Chris Monroe / Tips Clear

Alexa Care Hub

As we continue to adjust to life during a Universal epidemic, A major concern is great care in isolation. Rauch seemed particularly excited about the feature, as he had been testing it with his old mother in recent times. Essentially, the Care Hub allows two Amazon Alexa accounts to be linked, and gives one account wider access to activity over the other.

Rausch stated that the person in need of care would first have to invite another Alexa user, such as a family member or caregiver. The Care Hub can send a notification indicating common activity, without providing the nuances of each individual Alexa interaction – essentially to reassure the family member or carer that the person being monitored is Going about his day.

Such a system, Rauch said, could help “age” in place of the elderly [and] Maintain dignity during these particularly difficult times.

Natural conversation

Alexa is soon going to add an interactive mode, which will let users speak back and forth with Alexa – even with multiple human participants in conversations. To activate the feature, you just need to say, “Alexa, join our conversation.”

More widespread deletion

Alexa will now be able to delete all voice recordings of your account with a single command: “Delete everything I said.” Read more for Amazon’s new voice assistant privacy features Our piece on announcements.

Other Feature Updates

In addition to these major updates, Alexa is also going to get some small-scale, quality-of-life upgrades. Here is the running list:

  • Group calling: Alexa will soon be able to facilitate video- or voice-driven group calls with up to eight participants.
  • Zoom and Amazon Chaim on Echo Show devices: Alexa will be able to connect you to the third-party video chat service Zoom, or Amazon’s own Chaim service.
  • Netflix on Echo Show devices: A year-long resentment for Echo Show users is about to end. Netflix is ​​finally coming to Echo Show devices.
  • Music sharing: If you ask Alexa to “share a song with mom”, mom will be able to listen to her echo. (The same applies to non-mothers.)
  • Reading Sidekick: With those learning to read, Alex will trade lines and provide encouragement with the following in a shared book.
  • Alexa Voice Profile for Children: When children talk to Alexa, the voice assistant will automatically adjust their responses to be appropriate for the child’s age and needs.
  • Interactive learning: Users will be able to teach Alexa directly with this setting. The voice assistant will ask questions, and you can help fill the gaps in its knowledge.

for more information: read about Amazon announced its devices and services event.

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