Say ‘Hey, Samuel’ to Hear Samuel L. Jackson on Alexa
In December last year, Amazon introduced the ability to add Samuel L. Jackson’s voice to its devices. The feature was priced at 99 cents and was designed as an entertainment experience. It lacked the full features of Alexa, but she could play music, tell more about Jackson’s career. On the other hand, Samuel L. Jackson cannot help with voice skills shopping, setting up lists and reminders, or activating skills. However, you can turn a clear language filter on or off if you wanted more Nick Fury, less Nellville Flynn.
Unfortunately, the process was not as smooth as it could have been. Users had to ask Alexa to say something to Samuel. It took too long to get results, making the feature mostly useless.
Today, Alexa announced a new wake word for Alexa, the first ever: “Hey Samuel.” Saying this will automatically trigger Samuel L. Jackson’s voice to answer your question. There is no word as to whether the term new wake is spread over the capabilities of the original voice, however.
While this may not seem like much, adding a new Wake word is an impressive feat. Unlike most questions and questions put on Alexa, wake words are processed on the device. Due to the limited CPU and onboard memory of the Echo, introducing a new wake word was not an easy task.
The new feature derives from Amazon’s Voice Interoperability Initiative, a push to give customers more options and enable different voice agents and wake up words that exist on the same device. The initiative aims to “develop voice services that work with others while protecting the privacy and security of customers.”
Dozens of companies are taking part in the initiatives of Facebook, Intel, Sony and many others. As smart assistants become a more integral part of day-to-day life, voice interoperability initiatives will work to make them safer and more functional for everyday use.
Now that Amazon has added a new Wake word, it may open the way for other celebrity voices on your Alexa as well as other features. Who wouldn’t want the ability to create a custom wake word?