The company said it will let customers enable notifications -- similar to the push alerts available in smartphones and computers -- for various Alexa applications.
Alexa, Amazon.com’s voice-activated digital assistant, only speaks when spoken to. But soon it will be able to discreetly alert its owner when something important is up.
Amazon said Tuesday it will let customers enable notifications — similar to the push alerts available in smartphones and computers — for various Alexa applications.
Among the first to update will be AccuWeather, the Washington Post and a social messaging app geared toward families called Life360.
That doesn’t mean Alexa will suddenly barge into conversations with news of the latest storm warning or political scandal. Instead, the Echo device inhabited by Alexa will ring a chime and display a pulsing green light, inviting users to ask “Alexa, what did I miss?” or “what are my notifications?”
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Amazon didn’t say when exactly the feature will become available, but it may take a few months before its use spreads throughout the burgeoning Alexa software ecosystem. In a blog post on its site for developers, the company said that “in the coming months” AccuWeather, the Post and others will deploy the feature, and Amazon will use customer feedback to tweak it before letting all software makers incorporate it into their apps.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013.