How do you create a commercial for Amazon Echo, which uses the device’s wake word, “Alexa” 10 times, and not trigger millions of viewers’ devices?
Or, what if got someone named Alexa at home, and every time you want to talk to her, you trigger not only your human Alex but also your voice-activated digital assistant?
We’re talking about your TV, radio and other people inadvertently turning on your always-listening smart speakers. You’re watching TV and suddenly your Amazon Echo wakes up and tries to respond to that voice.
Other voices set off your smart assistant
You can say “Alexa, off” if you are in the room when the other voice activates your device. But what if you’re not there to stop it from accidentally order coffee, unlock your door or open your garage.
You need more control over your smart speaker, so your TV and other people aren’t turning them on. Great news – we have a few surefire tips to keep tabs on who and what can activate your Echo, Google Home and other voice-activated devices.
Amazon’s secret trick to keep Alexa quiet
Will you be one of the roughly 100 million people watching the Super Bowl next month? If not for the game itself, there’s a really good chance you’ll be watching the funny, touching and strange Super Bowl commercials.
One of those commercials will be for Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, Alexa. You know that if you say “Alexa” out loud — maybe that’s your daughter’s name — Alexa will perk up and ask you what you need.
That can also happen when someone on TV or the radio says, “Alexa.” It will trigger your smart speaker because it’s always listening for you to tell it to perform a task, unless you turn it off.
Which might make you think that Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial for Alexa will trigger your Echo Dot, or whichever Alexa-enabled device you have. As it turns out, Amazon is using technology to prevent your device from turning on during the game.
Amazon by some accounts is muting the word “Alexa” during the commercial in the 3,000Hz to 6,000Hz range. It’s a bit of a mystery how this works, but Amazon most likely programmed Alexa to not respond in that range.
Simple way to stop commercials from activating smart speakers
You can take control of your smart speaker so it’s not waking up and talking back to you every time you watch TV or listen to the radio. If you’re using an Amazon Echo, you can change the wake word from Alexa to one of three other words it can respond to, including ones that your TV may not be blaring as much, like “Echo.”
You can also turn off the microphone by touching the microphone icon with the line through it. You can do something similar with Google Home – just turn off the microphone or tell it to turn off the microphone.
You can deactivate Siri, if you’re using an Apple voice-activated device like HomePod. You can tell Siri to turn off the “Hey Siri” feature, or change the HomePod settings in your Home app to turn off “Hey Siri.”
Help Alexa learn your voice
You know that Alexa is a huge help if you want to listen to your favorite radio stations or get calendar reminders. You also know that you can sit through your family’s stations, music, messages, calendar entries and so on, if you live with family members or friends.
That inconvenience has now been remedied, and it’s super-simple to set up. Alexa can learn your voice, so you’re hearing your favorite music, getting your messages or being identified when making calls.
Just say, “Alexa, learn my voice.” Alexa will ask you a few questions to learn your voice – that’ll save you time and a few headaches.
Here’s a video that shows you how to set create a voice profile for Alexa.
Now, you don’t have to turn Alexa off so it won’t respond to commercials or other voices. Enjoy bingeing without worry!