Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Amazon is testing "Brief Mode" for Alexa

Amazon is testing

Curiously, first mentions of the new feature on an internet-of-things device reportedly come from Reddit users who spotted the new feature. The testing of new mode results in talking less in Alexa by replacing Alexa's verbal mode with beeps.

Hot on the heels of reports that Amazon's Echo voice-activated assistant was randomly laughing at some users, Amazon has rolled out a new feature that makes the device's response to commands significantly briefer. It'll be interesting to see if the feature does get wider availability. One user explained that, after asking Alexa to turn on the lights, she gave the usual "OK" response, but went on to say it would be the last time she would.

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Once again, Amazon hasn't made any announcement about the feature, so your mileage may vary when trying to turn it on or off on your Echo equipment. With Brief Mode, it plays a short beep, which Amazon can replace with something like LED indicators, but it's a start toward perfection. The Verge, however, speculates that this idea could be extended so that Alexa stops speaking a lot of excessive words, like "You have one timer with x number of minutes remaining", making interaction with the assistant more natural. Users must update to the latest version of the app and navigate to Settings General Alexa Voice Responses and toggle Brief Mode on or off.

Apparently, there is no shortage of ideas on how to improve Alexa. Alexa might be getting a new mode that will be a tad less disruptive to the user's life. While total silence would be a little more preferable in most scenarios, a beep tone is undoubtedly better than a shrill and loud "OK!"

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