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Alexa Can Now Detect Bleeping Appliances & Running Water

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At its fall event in September, Amazon announced that it will allow users to program Alexa to recognize custom sounds. While that support is yet to roll out, the virtual assistant can now recognize two new sounds: water running and appliance beeping. You can set up Alexa Routines to receive notifications when it detects sounds of water running or an appliance beeping nearby.

Amazon revealed the latest addition to Alexa’s sound detection capabilities in its monthly roundup (via) for November. Alexa-powered devices can already recognize various other sounds, including snoring, dogs barking, babies crying, glass shattering, and sound from smoke alarms. With the promised support for custom sounds, Amazon is looking to further integrate Alexa into people’s lives. Custom sounds will allow you to trigger smart home actions with the sound of your choice.

Additionally, Amazon says its Occupancy Routines feature is now available on more Echo devices. This feature uses Ultrasound Motion Detection to see if your home is occupied and accordingly perform certain actions. For example, it can turn on the lights when motion is detected near a device.

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For Amazon Pharmacy customers, Alexa can now refill your prescriptions. You can simply say, “Alexa, refill my medications,” when you need a refill. Alexa will also provide updates on when your medications are delivered and connect you with an Amazon Pharmacy customer care representative if you need assistance.

Alexa Conversation Mode is now available in the US

Amazon last month started adding a Conversation Mode to its third-gen Echo Show 10 in the US. The company says it has now completed the rollout across the nation. This feature allows you to have a more natural conversation with Alexa. You don’t have to repeat the wake word to follow up on a previous command. Alexa will respond when addressed and pause if interrupted.

You can enable this optional feature by saying, “Alexa, join the conversation”. A blue border will appear around the device’s screen when you are in Conversation Mode. Saying, “Leave this conversation” will turn it off.

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Last but not least, the latest Alexa monthly roundup also mentions that the Echo Show 15 is now up for pre-orders. Starting at $250, it is an Alexa-powered wall-mountable 15.6-inch, 1080p Full HD smart display for your home. You can also use a compatible stand accessory (sold separately) to carry it across your house. It works in both landscape and portrait orientation. Amazon says the Echo Show 15 will start shipping to customers on December 9th.