Amazon Alexa has a new feature that will surely be appreciated by all the mothers out there. The company has added the ‘Announcements’ feature which allows you to make Alexa do the screaming for you, through the entire house. “Dinner’s ready!”, “Someone answer the doorbell,” and so on. These are some of the common phrases used across household with kids who don’t respond in one go thanks to the obsession with other gadgets, or because the houses are constructed in a way that calling out to everybody is a challenge.
How it works
With Announcements, you will be able to send short voice messages to every Echo device in the house with a single command. Simply instruct, “Alexa, tell everyone dinner’s ready,” and all the rooms or places in your house having the supporting Echo device will get the message, at once.
The announcement can be sent from the Alexa app on an iOS or Android device, or from an Alexa-enabled tablet like the Fire HD 8. However, only Echo devices can receive announcements.
You can customize the commands to include instructions for a quick family meeting, or that you are leaving for work, and so on. The only hiccup here is that it is currently limited to US and Canada. Otherwise, it is not hard to imagine the scope of its usage in the Indian context. The company will be making the feature available across its lineup of Echo smart speakers, CNET reports.
The latest feature is seen as a push by Amazon to boost the adoption of its smart speaker range by the masses. Although the company debuted the smart speaker segment in the industry, it is facing tough competition from Google which is set to introduce its Assistant-powered Google Home smart speaker range in India. Apple, on the other hand, has also introduced its Apple HomePod smart speaker which boasts impressive sound output and is Siri-controlled.
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In addition to the self-branded smart speakers, there are other smart speakers which support Alexa and Amazon is looking at bringing support to them as well. “We’re working on third-party,” an Amazon spokesperson told the publication of the many Alexa devices not made by Amazon. “We aim for a consistent customer experience across all Alexa devices and it takes some time to bring software and features to third-party developers.”