New Alexa setting makes follow-up questions much easier to ask

11 March, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • A pair of Amazon Echo multimedia smart speakers taken

The blue light Echo devices will stay on during the five seconds to show that the assistant is still listening.

Amazon's Echo line of devices gets a new feature in the form of "follow-up" mode, which lets users spit out command after command without repeating the wake word each time. If the user does not say anything then Alexa will go to sleep. Being the noble and loyal house companion that she is, Alexa complied and sent out the creepy burst of laughter that's freaked out so many Echo and Alexa-enabled devices. What it means is that you can give her commands in sequence, waiting for Alexa to respond "OK" after each one. Previously, when you asked Alexa a question, you had to say the wake word every time. There are some interesting kinks here that Amazon may have to iron out. For instance, you won't be able to ask Alexa to turn off the lights and change the temperature in the same breath, but you can make one request and follow it up with the other without needing to say "Alexa" again.

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On paper, follow-up mode sounds useful enough. To end the conversation and be sure it has ended, you can still end the interaction with a "stop" or "thank-you". This is going to be a great aid to numerous people that use Alexa because, at certain points, one feels the need to stop the conversation if other things intervene. Also, Alexa may not be confident you're speaking to her if she "detects that speech was background noise or that the intent of the speech was not clear".

Follow-up mode will not activate if you are talking to someone using the call feature, listening to your favourite songs, or enjoying an audiobook. This new feature is available to all Amazon Echo devices but so far it is only available in US English.

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