Amazon is rolling out a new feature for its Alexa digital assistant that will allow it to detect whispers — and respond accordingly.
That feature, first teased by the company at its Seattle Alexa event last month, is appropriately called Whisper Mode. And it’s officially launching for U.S.-based users starting today, TechCrunch reported.
“Gone are the days of waking up your spouse or partner to ask Alexa for the weather in the morning or turn your alarm off,” Amazon said. “Whisper Mode is a new feature that allows you to whisper to Alexa, and she will whisper her response back to you.
Whisper Mode, of course, could obviously come in handy during bedtime, or other instances where an overly loud response from the digital assistant may not be warranted.
As far as how it works, Amazon has published an in-depth blog post explaining some of the scientific processes that power Whisper Mode.
And it’s just part of a larger initiative on Amazon’s part to make Alexa more contextually aware. Other recent features announced by the retail juggernaut include Alexa Guard, a feature that could allow the digital assistant to detect hazardous situations like glass breaking or a fire alarm.
Currently, Whisper Mode will only be available to users in the U.S. and will only work in U.S. English. If you’re in that region, do note that the new feature needs to be enabled before it can be used.
How to Enable Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode
You can do so by simply saying “Alexa, turn on whisper mode.” or..
- Open the Alexa app.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Alexa Account.
- Tap Alexa Voice Responses.
- Open Whispered Responses.
Of course, the feature will probably take some time to roll out to all users — so if you don’t have it, just wait a bit longer and try again.
It’s worth noting that Amazon isn’t the only technology giant that’s been working on the idea of whispering digital assistants.
Apple actually has a patent on digital assistants providing whispered speech. Though that patent was granted to Apple and published in December of last year, it was first filed back in June 2016.
While a similar whisper feature has yet to roll out to Siri, that patent makes it clear that Apple was toying with the idea long before Amazon announced Alexa’s Whisper Mode.