School’s Out, But Alexa Keeps Learning
You can cue up Alice Cooper’s classic song “School’s Out for Summer.” The calendar has flipped to June, which means children and teen-agers will soon be starting their summer vacations.
That means parents face the annual challenge of keeping their kids entertained without forgetting what they learned in school. At least that’s not an issue with their Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Alexa is always learning, getting us closer to the day when we can actually hold true two-way conversations with her.
Saturday Night Live recently produced a great skit playing off Alexa’s ability to understand more commands and questions. The skit introduced the fictional “Amazon Echo Silver” speaker that helps people “of a certain age” who are typically less technically-savvy than younger generations.
Features include letting users activate the device using “any name remotely close to Alexa,” and providing reassuring context about what’s going on around them. I laughed out loud several times, especially when the device gave an exasperated sigh before answering a question - check that moment out at the 1:55 mark:
Always On, Always Listening
All kidding aside, there are two ways Alexa learns: via the ever-expanding selection of Alexa Skills, which now number over 10,000; and by the improvements Amazon’s engineers are making to the AI’s ability to understand contextual information.
Until recently, if you asked Alexa a question and then tried to follow it up with a another one, she would struggle to provide an answer. Now, when you ask follow-up questions, Alexa is able to comprehend and respond accurately.
For example, if you want to know the weather forecast for today, you ask “Alexa - what’s today’s forecast?” If you’re planning your weekend, you can follow up with “Alexa - what about this weekend?” Alexa understands the context of your follow-up question.
That SNL skit did contain one accurate limitation of the Echo devices - you’re tethered to your home or office. Our OV intelligent headphones - the first and only headphones that feature Amazon Alexa Voice and Music Services integration - enable you to take Alexa with you wherever you go. Even better, you can ask questions and issue commands without having to pull your smartphone out of your pocket or bag.
In addition to hands-free access to Alexa Voice Services, the OV offers a wide range of unique features and functionalities, such as Ambient, which lets you control what you hear and what you don’t, instead of forcing you to completely block out all background noises.
We developed the accompanying OV app to help you tailor the best experience to your likes and needs. Use the app to make adjustments to Audio, Ambient, and Voice levels for music and phone calls, and save your favorite settings as presets.
We recently updated our app to improve the user experience and fix a few bugs. Make sure to update your app to experience all the benefits of updates.
To learn more, and purchase a set of OV headphones, please visit https://onvocal.com/shop