This past spring, Google Home gained the ability to distinguish between multiple users by voice. Today, Amazon announced that Alexa now has the same capability and expects that it will be available to all users by the end of the week. Users can activate the new feature in the Alexa app by selected Your Voice under their Account settings in the Alexa app. From there, all the user has to do is enter their name and speak aloud ten different phrases. Amazon’s voice recognition feature can identify ten different voices, while Google Home only lets you add six.
A Personalized Voice Experience
Unlike a smart phone, smart speakers were designed for common living spaces and to interact with more than one user. This was a problem for Alexa users even with the most basic tasks, like asking to hear their schedule for the day or how long it their commute will take. Only one person could have their account and personal information linked to each device. This became even more of a problem as Amazon rolled out more advanced features, like voice calling and messaging. If you have roommates, I can guarantee more than one of you has a contact named “Mom.”
Alexa’s voice recognition feature solves these problems by allowing users to customize their Alexa experience by creating a voice profile. For instance, if you ask for the news, Alexa will not play a flash briefing you have already heard. Users can also set up individual payment profiles and order directly from their Amazon shopping account. It also removes the verbal pin code Amazon requires to confirm purchases made on Alexa. With these barriers removed, consumers might be more likely to shop on Alexa and order from Amazon directly, which is exactly what the company wants. It will also give Amazon greater insight into how Alexa is actually being used as now it will have information on each individual user, instead of a household as a whole. Now Alexa can really get to the know the whole family.