Amazon Adds Offline Voice Recognition to Alexa Devices
Amazon today announced a slew of new connected devices, and with them came some new Alexa features that users will be able to take advantage of. The most interesting, by far, are the new privacy features of the latest Alexa devices. Soon, US customers will be able to choose to have all of their voice commands processed on their Alexa devices. This means that these audio clips will not be sent to the cloud and will be automatically deleted after the Alexa device processes them.
The online retailer has come under intense scrutiny over the years when it comes to the privacy implications of its smart speakers and displays. In 2019, Amazon added a toggle that allows users to opt out of having their voice recordings and message transcriptions “manually reviewed,” and before that, the company added an option to delete your entire voice history with just one. ordered. This new feature builds on that, but it will apparently only work with the latest Echo devices with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor. According to Amazon, the feature will be available on the 4th Gen Echo and Echo Show 10 first, and will be available on other devices in the future.
Most of the other new Alexa features are only available on Amazon smart screens, like the new Echo Show 15. First, Sling TV will be available on all Echo Show devices soon, adding to the already long list of services. streaming services accessible from Amazon screens. Second, Echo devices with cameras will be able to use Visual ID, a feature that allows Alexa to recognize you when you are in the camera’s field of view. By knowing who is in front of the camera, the device screen can then present personalized information such as calendar alerts and TV show preferences. It’s important to note that Visual ID is something you need to sign up for – not an automatic feature – and you can remove your Visual ID at any time.
Amazon is also revamping the Care Hub, which connects caregivers and their loved ones using the Alexa app and compatible devices, into a new subscription service called Alexa Together. This essentially allows caregivers to monitor others remotely and configure things like alerts, emergency contact information, etc. It includes features like Urgent Response, which gives you access to a professional emergency help line, and Remote Assist, which allows caregivers to do things like set reminders, link music services and more to make things easier for their loved ones. Alexa Together will be available later this year for $ 20 per month, and current Care Hub customers can get one year of free service.
Finally, Amazon has partnered with Disney to bring a new voice assistant to its smart devices. “Hey, Disney” is the entertainment giant’s own assistant that relies on Amazon’s Alexa technology. In addition to giving you access to characters from the Disney universe to chat with, the new assistant will also be able to set timers, reminders, check the weather and more. Echo users will be able to purchase the “Hey, Disney” assistant from the Alexa Skills store in 2022, and it will be available on Echo devices in hotel rooms at Walt Disney World Resort.
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