(Pocket-lint) - Amazon's Alexa platform is catching up to Google Assistant, with the ability to recognise individual voices.

Google Home can personlise Google Assistant responses to a specific person in your household. So, if your husband asks it for a calendar briefing, he'll get a response tailored to him, rather than your calendar briefing or your daughter's calendar briefing. This feature is also handy because it prevents Assistant from messing up calls when you ask it to phone someone in your contacts.

Now, Amazon has announced that Alexa can do the same thing, thanks to Alexa voice profiles. Here's what you need to know about the new feature, including what it is and how to set it up right now.


What are Alexa voice profiles?

In a nut shell, voice profiles give you the ability to teach Amazon Alexa your voice, so that when you interact with a compatible Alexa-powered device, Alexa will be able to recognise your voice. Amazon said you can set up voice profiles on the Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show. Once you set up the feature, Alexa will learn your voice, and other users' voices, so it can deliver a more personalised experience.

You’ll need to set up an Alexa voice profile through the Alexa app. This involves voice training. In other words, you’ll be asked to choose an Alexa-powered device to train with, whether that be an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show, and then after you’ve read out 10 sample phrases, the voice profile will be complete. Everyone in your home should do the same thing so Alexa will know who is who.


How to create Alexa voice profiles

Set up your voice

  1. Update and open the Alexa app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the menu button in the corner and select Settings.
  3. Go to the Accounts section and select Your Voice.
  4. Select Begin.
  5. Use the drop-down menu to select the device you want to interact with, like your Echo, to teach Alexa your voice.
  6. Then, select Next.
  7. Say the on-screen phrase out loud when prompted.
  8. Select Next to go to the next phrase.
  9. Then, select Complete when done.

Set up a family member's voice

  1. Have a family member download and open the Alexa app on their mobile device.
  2. Have them sign into the Amazon account used to set up the Alexa device.
  3. They can select I'm someone else.
  4. Have them enter their name, then go to Settings, and tap Your Voice.
  5. From there, have them follow the prompts.

Alternatively, you can set up other family members all from the Alexa app on your mobile device. Just sign out of the app, then sign back in, and select I'm someone else. Then follow the steps 4 and 5 above.

Are there any limitations?

Alexa voice profiles currently only support the following Alexa features: calling/messaging, flash briefing, shopping, and the Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan. That means, if you ask Alexa to call someone or fetch a flash briefing, it'll recognise you and be able to call someone from your own contacts and it'll be able to deliver your tailored flash briefing, respectively.

Alexa voice profiles will roll out to additional Alexa features in the future. Amazon also said voice recognition will get smarter over time.

When will Alexa voice profiles be available?

The feature is now out via the Alexa app for iOS and Android users.

Writing by Elyse Betters.