If you whisper, so will Alexa | Inquirer Technology

If you whisper, so will Alexa

/ 06:21 PM October 21, 2018

Image: Grant Hindsley/AFP via AFP Relaxnews

As announced at the September hardware event, Alexa is gaining the ability to whisper, and Amazon has just confirmed to Engadget that the feature is already available to United States users.

When you have just spent hours trying to get your baby to fall asleep and finally manage it, the last thing you need is Alexa telling you what the weather is going to be like tomorrow at full volume. If you asked a person that in hushed tones, they would respond in a whisper, “you’ll need a sweater.” And that’s the idea of Alexa’s new “whisper mode,” revealed in September.


If someone whispers something to you, your natural response to the social cue would be to speak softly in return. Amazon brought this human-like instinctive behavior to Echo devices Thursday, Oct. 18. And of course users are already expressing mixed feelings about the feature:


Basically, all you have to do to activate the setting is to say, “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode” and — voila — the assistant is contextually conscious. If the ambiance would be damaged by this normal-pitch command, you can enable it through settings in Alexa’s app instead.

Right now, Alexa’s “indoor voice” is only available in English. In the standard speech mode, she knows English, German, French, and Japanese which is about ten languages less than Google Assistant, about 20 languages less than Apple’s Siri, and four less than Microsoft’s Cortana. On the bright side, the language support is expected to expand by the end of this year with Italian and Spanish. Maybe, we will get more languages in hushed tones, as well.

Nevertheless, Alexa is the first voice assistant is the first to be able to whisper, but Apple may not be far behind. In fact, the company patented “Digital Assistant Providing Whispered Speech” back in 2016 but has made no public announcement about it since.

This is a major innovation in voice assistants’ ability to respond to social cues and modify typical functioning to adapt to a situation. Now you can set up an alarm without waking your partner, maybe tomorrow she will be able to yell in the crowd with you at your daughter’s softball game. KM



WATCH: Alexa to teach ‘Call of Duty’ players better skills

WATCH: Tank delivers beer through Alexa voice commands

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TOPICS: “Alexa”, Amazon, Amazon Alexa, voice assistant
TAGS: “Alexa”, Amazon, Amazon Alexa, voice assistant

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.