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Amazon Adds Offline Voice Recognition to Alexa Devices

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Amazon has announced a slew of new connected devices and with those come some new Alexa features, including the new privacy feature.

Soon, US customers can choose to have all of their voice commands processed on their Alexa devices, reports Engadget.

That means these audio clips won’t be sent to the cloud and they’ll be automatically deleted after the Alexa device processes them, the report said.

The online retailer has received much scrutiny over the years when it comes to the privacy implications of its smart speakers and displays.

Back in 2019, Amazon added a toggle that let users opt out of having their voice recordings and message transcripts “manually reviewed.” Before that, the company added an option to delete the entire voice history with one command.

This new feature builds on that, but it seemingly will only work with the latest Echo devices with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor.

According to Amazon, the feature will first be available on the 4th-generation Echo and the Echo Show 10 and will come to more devices in the future.

Most other new Alexa features are only available on Amazon’s smart displays, like the new Echo Show 15.

First, Sling TV will soon be coming to all Echo Show devices, adding to the already lengthy list of streaming services accessible from Amazon’s displays.

Second, Echo devices with cameras will be able to use Visual ID, a feature that lets Alexa recognize you when you’re in the camera’s field of view. By knowing who’s in front of the camera, the device’s display can then present personalized information like calendar alerts and TV show preferences.

It’s important to note that Visual ID is something you have to enroll in — not an automatic feature — and you can delete your Visual ID at any time.

Amazon’s also revamping Care Hub, which connects caregivers and their loved ones using the Alexa app and compatible devices, into a new subscription service called Alexa Together.

This lets caregivers check in on others remotely and set up alerts, emergency contact information, and more.

It includes features like Urgent Response, which gives you access to a professional emergency helpline, and Remote Assist, which lets caregivers do things like set reminders, link music services, and more to make things easier for their loved ones.


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