Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa has reportedly gained a new feature for making conversations more fluid. As per a CNET report, Alexa will now keep listening for five more seconds at the end of a conversation, after being triggered in speakers supporting the smart assistant and the blue LED ring on Alexa devices will be illuminated for the time period it's waiting for the user's query. This is being done to eliminate the need for using ‘Alexa’ trigger word repeatedly after each query.
As per the report, with the new feature, Alexa takes only follow up commands and not multiple commands in one go. “To be clear, this doesn't mean that Alexa can handle multiple commands at once. You can't, for instance, say, ‘Alexa, turn off the lights and set the thermostat to 68.’ What you can do is string those commands together in successive requests, like this: You: "Alexa, turn off the lights." Alexa: "OK." [continues listening] You: "Set the thermostat to 68. Alexa: "OK, the heat is set to 68.", the report notes.
Additionally, Alexa will reportedly respond to the follow-ups only when it’s "confident" that the request is legitimate and not a background noise, claims the report. There will also be an option to cut the "conversation" short by saying "thank you," or "stop", while the intelligent assistant is listening after the initial command. According to the report, one can enable the new Follow-Up Mode under Settings section of the Amazon Alexa app and selecting the supported device. Then, by scrolling down and toggling the Follow-Up Mode slider to on position will enable the feature.
The new mode is said to be currently available for all Amazon Echo devices and a few third-party devices, However, its limited only to US English at the moment. It will not activate while the user is streaming an audiobook, music, or is on a call.