Amazon has announced a new two-factor authentication system to ensure Alexa devices aren’t being activated by like-sounding words.
The new Cloud-Based Wake Word Verification tool is designed for third-party manufacturers adopting Alexa voice commands.
“With this update, the wake word engine (WWE) on the device handles the initial detection of ‘Alexa’, and then a secondary cloud-based check verifies the utterance,” Amazon’s Ted Karczewski wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Related: Best Alexa Skills
The idea is to protect against false positives and ensure the Alexa-enabled device is only listening in when correctly prompted.
Developers will need to enable the tool on their devices, but Amazon already has a similar system in place on its homegrown Echo devices.
The first product to arrive with the verification tool enabled is the new ecobee4 smart thermostat.
The announcement comes after the Amazon Echo range was the subject of a parody on Saturday Night Live in the United States.
The skit, starring Kenan and Kel alumni Kenan Thompson and Ghostbusters star Kate McKinnon, introduces the Amazon Echo Silver; “the only smart speaker to be designed exclusively by the greatest generation.”
“It’s super loud and responds to any name even remotely close to Alexa so that they can find out the weather, sports, even local news and pop culture.”
Given there are now five different Amazon Echo models now on the market (at least in the US) we wouldn’t rule out the Silver, but the new Alexa tool seems to nix the handiest feature.
Have you welcomed any third-party Alexa-enabled devices into your home? Share your experiences in the bit below that says ‘comments’.