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Amazon Plans to Let Devices Record Before Wake Word

According to an Amazon spokesperson, the company files several patents that are not ultimately implemented into consumer-facing products

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The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

A newly-revealed patent application from Amazon shows that the e-commerce giant is planning to let Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices to record what is said even before a wake word, like “Alexa”.

Currently, Alexa-enabled devices do not understand commands when the wake word is spoken in the middle or end of the sentence.

With this patent, the company clearly seems to be looking for ways to expand the capabilities of its voice recognition technology, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday.

If implemented, the feature could let devices respond on commands with the wake word in the middle or at the end of the command.

“While such phrasings may be natural for a user, current speech processing systems are not configured to handle commands that are not preceded by a wake word. Offered is a system to correct this problem,” as per Kurt Wesley Piersol and Gabriel Beddingfield, who developed the patent.

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A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

According to the patent application, after a wake word is detected, Alexa may “look backwards” to determine if the command came before the wake word, and use pauses in speech to identify the beginning of the command.

However, if approved, this technology could arise several security concerns among users.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, the company files several patents that are not ultimately implemented into consumer-facing products.

Also Read: Google’s Cloud Gaming Service Stadia to Share Game Titles, Pricing Soon

“The technology in this patent is not in use, and referring to the potential use of patents is highly speculative,” the report quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The patent revelation comes just weeks after some US Senators and a group of 19 consumers and public health advocates accused Amazon of recording and saving conversations that take place around its smart speakers, urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the case. (IANS)

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E-commerce Major Amazon Adds 15 Planes, Eyes 70-aircraft Fleet by 2021

Amazon oversees a massive warehouse, Air Hub and cargo freight logistics network in addition to its growing network of Flex personal delivery drivers

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Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

Just after losing air-shipping contract of global courier company FedEx amid competition, e-commerce major Amazon has added 15 cargo aircraft to its fleet in the making, aiming to reach 70 planes by 2021.

“At the International Paris Air Show, the company announced a partnership with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease an additional 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft. These aircraft will be in addition to the five Boeing 737-800’s leased from GECAS,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The aircraft would fly in the US out of over 20 air gateways in the Amazon Air network. “These aircraft create additional capacity for Amazon Air, building on the investment in Prime Free One-Day programme,” said Dave Clark, Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon.

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An Amazon Prime Truck is on the Road in Virginia, transporting thousands of items ordered from online giant Amazon. (D Bekheet/VOA)

Earlier in May, to expand its airborne ambitions, Amazon announced $1.5 billion investment for building three million square-foot Prime Air airport outside Cincinnati in Kentucky as a parking place for 100 cargo jets.

The company’s plans have initiated a direct competition with the likes of logistic majors, like FedEx and UPS in the US. In June, in a strategic decision, FedEx Express refused to renew Amazon’s contract being used for air transportation of packages.

Also Read- LG Electronics to Launch V50 5G Smartphone in US

Currently, Amazon oversees a massive warehouse, Air Hub and cargo freight logistics network in addition to its growing network of Flex personal delivery drivers, employed using an Uber-like contract model.

“Amazon will open new air facilities this year at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Wilmington Air Park and Chicago Rockford International Airport. The main Air Hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport will open in 2021,” the blog post added. (IANS)