Alexa Won’t Wake Your Kid Up Anymore

Posted on October 18, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Amazon with 5 Comments

Smart speakers make controlling your smart home and lots of other things incredibly easy with your voice. Often times, though, the voice assistants powering these smart speakers can be quite disruptive.

And Amazon is tackling that problem with a new Whisper Mode for Alexa and Alexa-powered devices. With the new Whisper Mode, when you whisper to Alexa, she will whisper back. And that’s going to be really useful when you don’t want to disrupt anyone, like when your kid is sleeping. You can simply whisper to Alexa to play a lullaby without waking your kid up, for example.

Amazon detailed in a blog post how the company is using machine learning to understand whispered speech. The ability of Alexa to identify when you are whispering to the assistant is really quite impressive from a technical perspective, and Amazon is utilizing a bunch of different techniques for its whisper detection system on Alexa. The company’s engineers even published a paper on the tech.

Whisper Mode isn’t enabled by default on Alexa — the feature is only available in the United States and you will have to manually turn it on for the feature to work.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Alexa Won’t Wake Your Kid Up Anymore”

  1. Avatar

    glenn8878

    They should offer noise cancellation of parental action in the next room.

  2. Avatar

    Peter Hultqvist

    The Echo already understand words being whispered. Why detect the characteristics of a whisper rather than just measure the volume?

  3. Avatar

    colmob

    Looks like Amazon are following Microsoft's bold lead in having their services suck outside the US:

    "Whisper Mode isn’t enabled by default on Alexa — the feature is only available in the United States and you will have to manually turn it on for the feature to work."

    Alexa is also mysteriously missing the multi-user/multi-account feature in Canada also; had I known this in advance I wouldn't have bought it.

    I have an Invoke too, and it doesn't do anything much; cannot link it (here) e.g. to Hue lights. The entire Connected Home feature is missing from Cortana Notebook. Also note that this appears to be completely undocumented. Disappointing.

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