Smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home can make your daily tasks easier. They can also update you on traffic conditions and nudge you with specific reminders.
Even though they are only electronics at heart, you still need to call them by name to get their attention. While the standard “Hey, Alexa” will prick her ears every time, did you know that you can call her something else? Tap or click here to enable celebrity voices like Shaq on your Amazon Echo.
That’s right. Alexa isn’t the only wake word for your Echo devices. Keep reading to find out how to use a name other than Alexa for your Echo devices and some new surprises on the way.
Options for Echo wake word
If you have an Amazon Echo, you’ve probably used Alexa as the wake word since the day you unboxed it. But you don’t need to be limited to that. There are four other names that you can use to wake up your Echo. They are:
When you are ready to change the wake word, it is a relatively simple process. All you need to do is say, “Alexa, change the wake word.” From there, Alexa will guide you through the rest of the process.
If you prefer to do it through the Amazon Alexa app, you can do that too. Here’s how:
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile device and tap the More icon.
- Tap Settings, then Device Settings.
- Select the device that you want to change the wake word for.
- Tap the Settings gear icon in the upper right corner.
- Scroll down and tap Wake Word.
- Select the new wake word that you’d like to use.
Celebrities and other wake words
From our previous coverage, you might have seen that you can also change Alexa’s voice to that of a celebrity. You need to use the celebrity’s name to wake up the Echo, but these are different from wake words.
Celebrity voices are essentially an overhaul of the smart assistants’ voice. While regular Echo actions are still available, the responses and replies will be given by your chosen celebrity. Your choices are Samuel L. Jackson, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and comedian Melissa McCarthy.
The voices are part of Alexa’s Skills, which are add-ons that you can purchase for your Alexa-enabled devices. They cost $4.99 each, and if you want to get them, you need to go to the Skills page and follow the purchasing instructions.
Amazon also unveiled a new voice this week. Saying “Hey, Disney” will give your Echo not only a new vocal style but also a new personality. It adds a few games, bedtime stories and jokes from popular Disney productions like Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.
Again, this is different from wake words as it changes the behavior of your device. These voices are also limited in functionality, as the Hey, Disney command can’t control smart home devices. It also can’t add things to your shopping cart.
If your child (or you) can’t wait to sing along to “Let it Snow” or listen to Disney-themed soundscapes, we have some bad news. The latest addition won’t be available until next year, but you can get a preview of what Disney voices sounds like by saying, “Hey, Alexa. Tell me about Hey Disney.”
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