Amazon Echo is getting a major upgrade by the Autumn of 2018.
The world’s largest selling smart speaker has come up against criticism in the past, with owners complaining that they’re unable to adjust the bass, midrange and treble of the speaker. This has meant that speech on radio and audiobooks has suffered from too much bass and older recordings too little treble. Although the Echo is pretty decent sound, it is known to distort when the volume is cranked right up.
As a result, Amazon released an equalizer for owners in the USA earlier this year, and this is expected to hit the UK market soon. Want more bass? Then simple say “Alexa, increase bass”.
“Now customers [in the US] can personalise the tone of the audio playing on their speakers, AV receivers, and sound bars by simply saying, ‘Alexa, crank up the bass,’ ‘Alexa, turn up treble,’ or ‘Alexa, set TV mode’”, said Amazon developer Mike Maas in the companies blog.
Alexa Cast has already been added
Echo owners can already benefit from a new upgrade to the system, where they can case music from their mobile phone straight to a smart speaker.
Alexa cast allows Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music listeners customers to play music tracks straight from their phone to any Alexa-enable device. This means that anyone arriving home from their daily commute can seamlessly continue to listen to music at home without having to stop their favourite playlist. Simply update the Alexa phone on your Android or IOS device to start casting.
Echo is getting a larger brain
Amazon have been looking for ways to improve Echo’s intelligence and admits that it has been struggling against the behemoth that is Google.
However, a new partnership with Digital Knowledge Management Platform Yext is due to see Alexa become much more intuitive, especially when it comes to local businesses.
You can now ask your Amazon Echo, “Alexa, what time does Tesco open?” and get hours for the store closest to your home.
Yext manages 30 million facts regarding 1.2 million businesses and locations, so you say, “Alexa, how many calories are in a Whopper Burger?” and get the answer.
Announcing the partnership with Amazon, Yext said: “With this new relationship, consumers using Alexa for voice search can receive the most up-to-date facts about businesses—locations, contact information, hours of operation, and more – straight from the source: the business itself.”