Alexa will support notifications in an upcoming update

Alexa devices are going to get better at making sure you actually said 'Alexa'

Notifications will be provided in a couple of different ways, including an audible chime and a pausing green light using the LED ring on the Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show hardware.

The retail giant said Tuesday that it would debut a new feature for its Alexa voice-activated assistant that lets businesses and developers notify people of new information via skills. Amazon reiterates that all skills are going to require users to opt-in before they can send any notifications.

The idea is to protect against false positives and ensure the Alexa-enabled device is only listening in when correctly prompted.




Amazon will soon add another ability to Alexa's repertoire in the form of notifications - giving users spoken updates from Alexa on what's new across a selection of the digital assistant's 12,000-plus skills. Skills from The Washington Post, AccuWeather, Just Eat and Life360 are amongst those that will support notifications first. "Users can simply ask, 'Alexa, what did I miss?' or 'Alexa, what are my notifications?'"

While notifications can be useful for certain apps to, say, announce a new podcast episode or share a breaking news alert, developers could misuse the notification capability as is often the case with push notifications on apps.

"With this update, the wake word engine (WWE) on the device handles the initial detection of "Alexa", and then a secondary cloud-based check verifies the utterance", said Ted Karczewski, content marketing manager of Alexa voice service at Amazon, in a blog post.

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