Amazon Echo range of devices are some of the most popular voice assistant-powered smart speakers in the world, but tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are still in the process of figuring out what kind of conversations work between the AI and users. In an interesting set of developments, it seems like Amazon is testing a new “Brief Mode” for Alexa that will apparently replace repetitive replies such as “Okay” with beeps and chimes to denote confirmation.
According to a report by AFTVNews, the new Brief Mode was spotted in the Alexa app. Go to Settings > Alexa Voice Responses > toggle Brief Mode to access the feature which is currently available only for a few users. The report claims that several Reddit users first spotted this feature, which has strangely disappeared since for some of them. It is said that the feature was informed to the users by their Echo devices themselves. “So, I just asked Alexa to turn on my lights, she said ‘OK’ just like normal, but after that, she said that this would be the last time she would, and that I would hear a beep tone instead on a successful command,” said Reddit user Aquifel. This seems to be Amazon’s first step towards giving numerous repetitive verbal responses a less verbose alternative.
Just last week, Amazon Alexa was updated with a new Follow-Up mode that allows users to make successive requests without having to use the assigned hot word to trigger a response. For instance, the new feature will allow Alexa to continue listening for a successive request after the initial query has been responded to. Users will not have to say ‘Alexa’ or any other selected hot word to their smart speaker in such a case. Notably, the blue light ring on the speaker will stay lit during the course of the five seconds.