Amazon Unveils New 'Free-Flowing' Conversation Mode for Alexa

No more “Hey, Alexa”

Since Alexa’s first appearance in 2014, the world has become accustomed to saying “Hey, Alexa” to issue a query, but those days may be ending. 

Amazon just unveiled a new capability called Conversation Mode that allows Alexa to engage in back-and-forth interactions without repeating the wake word, as announced on the company blog.

Amazon Announces Conversation Mode for Alexa

Amazon

Once you say “Alexa, join the conversation,” the smart assistant will reportedly engage when addressed, no matter if you issue the wake word or not. Amazon says this allows for more “free-flowing interactions” and that Alexa will “respond when addressed and pause if interrupted.”

This tech requires a camera to work, however, since Alexa needs to know when it is being addressed. With that said, Conversation Mode is currently locked to the third-generation Echo Show 10. 

As for privacy, Alexa must be invited to join a conversation and can be asked to leave by simply saying “leave the conversation.” Conversation Mode will also automatically end if you stop addressing Alexa within a “short period of time.” Amazon says that only Alexa-directed audio cues will be sent to the cloud, not images, videos, or unrelated audio. 

The update will begin rolling out to Echo Show 10 devices in the next few weeks. There has been no word on if or when other Echo Show models will be able to access the feature.

If you are interested in the details behind this tech, the Alexa speech team breaks it down on the Amazon Science blog.

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