Amazon is bringing a new feature known as ‘Adaptive Volume’ to its Alexa-powered smart home speakers lineup. This is aimed at eliminating a volume-related issue with smart home speakers. With Adaptive Volume, Alexa can now respond louder when it senses noise around you.
The company says that the Adaptive Volume mode will allow Alexa to be comprehensible when there’s plenty of background noise. This applies to the noise emanating from the television, a blow dryer, or any other noisy appliances.
Alexa can also adjust to quieter environments with a simple command
Adaptive Volume is currently available to customers in the U.S. Enabling it takes a simple command – “Alexa, turn on adaptive volume.” Alexa can also adjust its voice in quieter environments with a command like “Alexa, turn on whisper mode.” When enabled, Alexa will respond to commands with a whisper.
As The Verge points out, Adaptive Volume isn’t the same as ‘Adaptive Sound’ on the 4th gen Amazon Echo. Adaptive Sound uses the Echo’s microphones to tailor the music or audio to sound a certain way depending on the room you’re in. Adaptive Volume has a lot in common with Ambient IQ on Google Nest speakers.
Alexa has evolved a great deal since it was first unveiled several years ago. While Google has narrowed the gap since then, Amazon still enjoys a decent share of the smart speaker market thanks to its smart speaker lineup.
In July, Alexa received the ability to set multiple custom phrases for set routines. This meant that users could add a couple of custom phrases for a single routine, offering more flexibility with commands. Amazon unveiled more new features coming to Alexa at its annual Alexa Live event.
Apart from custom routines, the company announced the addition of Widgets on Alexa devices with screens such as the Echo Show 10 and older models. These widgets would promote Alexa skills built by developers. Meanwhile, developers can build Featured Skill Cards that promote their Alexa skill on the user’s homescreen.
Another major addition to Alexa’s repertoire this year was a new Male voice known as ‘Ziggy.’ This serves as an alternative to the standard female Alexa voice.