Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa has been one of the most important and useful technologies ever to exist. In households and in offices, this particular technology has been used widely.

From playing music to booking fancy trips, there is nothing that Alexa can’t do. It’s like the perfect companion that you have.

However, this little angel of help has been faltering for some reasons, let’s get on to that.

The Problem Of Alexa’s Accidental Triggering

Alexa, while really helpful and amazing for many, has been faltering due to accidental triggering from the TV advertisements. Many users complained that Alexa has been getting accidentally turned on every time it hears ‘Alexa’ on the TV.

However, a solution to that has finally arrived people. As of now, Alexa will not be triggered accidentally whenever the TV ads pop up on the TV screen.

Especially the commercial of Super Bowl LII. We the football season approaching there are many commercials that feature Amazon Alexa, as a result of which it gets accidentally triggered.

Well, the good news is that this accidental triggering problem won’t be an issue with Alexa anymore. All of that, thanks to the amazing ‘acoustic fingerprinting’ technology which is used by Amazon among the other things.

This means that the mention of the name of Alexa which is to trigger it won’t be an issue anymore.

When the TV commercials mention the name of Alexa, or a YouTube video refers to it, the Echo devices won’t wake up out of the blue and disturb the users by following the unwanted comments.

The Amazing Acoustic Fingerprinting With Alexa

According to Amazon, the acoustic fingerprinting is the only way in which Alexa will be able to differentiate between the utterances of the users to and the ads that often take to mention the name.

Shiv Vitaladevurni, a talented member of the senior team of managers for Alexa said that “The trick is to suppress the unintentional waking of a device while not incorrectly rejecting the millions of people engaging with Alexa every day”.

This particular technology was patented in the month of September 2014, named as ‘Audible Command Filtering’.

The retailers aren’t able to provide much information about the working procedure of this particular technique, however, we shall be shedding some light here.

There are basically two techniques that are working in here. The first being the snippet of the ad that is sent to Alexa’s echo device before it actually airs on the TV. This is done to enable the echo device can attempt to compare the commands that are given lives against the acoustic fingerprint. This helps to make a differentiation between the two commands.

The other technique by which a particular ad can let the echo device know is through inaudible acoustic.

The Actual Answer To The Amazing Trick

A Redditor that has claimed to find the inside information about Alexa’s acoustic fingerprint said that it was to explain the inner workings of the Echo Device.

He said that after some research on the device, he found that the device while processing the sound of the trigger, searches certain Audio Spectrum. If the results are quieter between 4000-5000 Hz, then Alexa won’t have any effect. The frequencies apparently become non-existent.

In simpler words, what we can say is that if Alexa tends to pick up some of the gaps or is detecting some similar anomalies which are present in the Audio Spectrum, then the device will just ignore the sound of what it is hearing. Even if it is a wake word or any other command, to be honest.

This, of course, works out really well if every single thing is planned out. However, for the unanticipated mentions and wake words, certain problems might arise on the horizon.

For the solution to that problem, Amazon needs the edited version of the commercial to make the technique work properly. If not, then the wake commands will result in the automatic triggering of Alexa, accidentally.

For example, in January 2017, a TV report ultimately led to hundreds of orders of dollhouses.

This happened when the news reporter said in the TV report that ‘Alexa orders me a dollhouse.’

The Conclusion

Echo devices certainly won’t be coming to life, even when the TV mentions the name of Alexa. However, this solution won’t go on for a long amount of time.

Yet, this solution is exactly what the company needs during the football season of Super Bowl LII. With ads mentioning ‘Alexa’ more than 10 times, it is likely that this might be helpful.


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