Amazon is harnessing the power of the cloud to reduce false detections of the word "Alexa."
(CCM) — Anyone who has an Amazon Echo will know how annoying it can be when the device activates itself after falsely detecting that someone has uttered its wake word — usually "Alexa". The problem is much worse with third-party devices, which incorporate Alexa. However, Amazon has introduced technology called Cloud-Based Wake Word Verification to make wake word detection much more accurate for these devices.
Currently third party devices have their own on-baord "wake word engine" that is responsible for detecting when someone says "Alexa." Using the new technology, this engine will handle the initial detection of "Alexa," and then the sound which caused the activation will be sent to the cloud where a secondary and more accurate cloud-based verification will take place. If a false wake word is detected, the verification process directs the device to close the audio stream and turn off the LED indicator, Ted Karczewski, an Amazon marketing manager, explained in a blog post.
The technology is available today, but to take advantage of it users will have to update their device's firmware when it is made available by the manufacturer. So far the only product up and running with Cloud-Based Wake Word verification is the Ecobee4 smart thermostat.
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