You can now hear Alexa over a dishwasher if you’ve ever had difficulty hearing her over noise.
The Verge reported that Alexa can speak louder if another noise is detected using the new “adaptive volume” feature. Alexa can be activated by saying, “Alexa, turn on adaptive volume.”
It’s reportedly only available in the U.S. so far, and we tried this with an Amazon Echo in the U.K. — it was indeed “not supported.”
Alexa’s adaptive volume mode may be beneficial for users who are hard of hearing and struggle to hear the digital assistant over background noise such as dishwashers, televisions, and music from other speakers. It’s a much more welcome addition to Alexa than its terrifying whispering abilities.
But the better Alexa gets at distinguishing background noise, the more we get that familiar creepy feeling – something that raises yet another privacy concern. Unless you change your settings, your device will record your conversations at the slightest whiff of “Alexa.” Sometimes, it doesn’t even need one to start recording, and don’t forget about those contractors who are paid to listen in (here’s how to prevent this).
Amazon says that Echo and Alexa devices are designed to record as little audio as possible and minimize the amount of background noise that streams to the cloud. However, the more brilliant Alexa gets – though it may benefit you by being heard over your washing up – the more brilliant Amazon itself will become.