AMAZON'S ALEXA VOICE ASSISTANT edged a step closer to Google Home this week with the rollout of support for multi-user voice profiles.
Back in April, Google Home gained the ability to recognise individual voices (before it rolled out to Brits in June) and Amazon has this week followed suit with the launch of Voice Profiles for Echo devices.
Alexa has been able to handle multiple accounts before, you had to switch between them using the Alexa app. Now, Alexa can tell different users' voices apart, which means family members, for example, can play their own personalised Music Unlimited recommendations and shop without having to provide a confirmation code each time.
"Once you set up the feature, Alexa will learn your voice (versus your spouse/partner/roommate's voice) and be able to deliver a more personalized experience," Amazon explained.
At launch, the feature will support Flash Briefings, shopping, Amazon Music's family plan and Alexa to Alexa calling. The company will be adding more functionality in the future, and says it will "get smarter" the more people use it.
Voice profiles can be set up on the Echo, Echo Dot and newly-released Echo Show. To do so, users will be asked to read aloud 10 phrases and Alexa will then use that data to create a personalised voice profile. Full instructions on can be found on the Amazon website.
These voice profiles will then work across other Echo devices and "most" third-party party Alexa-enabled devices.
Amazon also announced this week that it's expanded its Household subscription to enable children aged 13-17 to shop on the site through the app using their parents' payment methods. Parents can choose to either set a spending limit or individually approve each purchase.
Amazon hasn't yet said whether this functionality will be expanded to Alexa, but given that it's probably going to make it more money, we're going to put our money on 'yes'. µ
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