Have you ever wished Alexa would just shut up?
The Future Today Institute, which forecasts how emerging technology will disrupt business, said in its recent 2018 Tech Trends Report that traditional smartphones are on the way out, and that over the next decade, we'll start to transition to devices we control using voice. But before we get to that point, tech companies still need to perfect their voice assistants and how we're able to interact with them.
Amazon seems to be doing just that, according to AFTVnews, which spotted a Reddit post concerning a new Alexa feature that Amazon appears to be quietly testing. The Redditor said in his post: “I just asked Alexa to turn on my lights, she said ‘OK’ just like normal, but after that, she said that this would be the last time she would, and that I would hear a beep tone instead on a successful command.”
In other words, Amazon is testing a way for Alexa to respond to or confirm commands with beeps, versus verbal responses. In the Alexa app, some users are seeing a new "Brief Mode". It is located at the bottom of Settings, under a new "Alexa Voice Responses" section. It allows you to toggle a switch, and in turn, Alexa will speak less. The assistant will play short sounds instead of voice responses.
Pocket-lint can't see the option, so we've asked Amazon for a comment. It'll be interesting to see if the feature does get wider availability. We certainly can think of a few times in the past when Alexa had a little too much to say and all we wanted was a brief confirmation from her.