Amazon Alexa Devices Now Have a Whisper Mode

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Amazon has added a whisper mode to Alexa devices. Now you can whisper to your device and it will respond in kind. Here is an example of normal mode and whisper mode. I suggest that everyone try it with the "Sweet Talker" skill enabled. Or just command Alexa to "talk dirty to me."

    If you're in a room where a child has just fallen asleep, and someone else walks in, you might start speaking in a whisper, to indicate that you're trying to keep the room quiet. The other person will probably start whispering, too. We would like Alexa to react to conversational cues in just such a natural, intuitive way, and toward that end, Amazon last week announced Alexa's new whisper mode, which will let Alexa-enabled devices respond to whispered speech by whispering back.
     
  2. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    "Alexa, baby, order more lube."
     
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  3. GNUse_the_force

    GNUse_the_force Limp Gawd

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    Or the inversion of this is that when you whisper it transmits your private remarks you never intended for it to hear :eek:

    No thanks, il take a [h]ard pass. Although i admit it's going to be almost impossible to avoid them soon... Just think about that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  4. JStamsek

    JStamsek [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Can we get the opposite?

    If Alexa determines there is telling...Alex should yell too. Lol
     
  5. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    Wish Google home would be a bit more affordable. So many Alexa sales to push it out there.

    I figure if I need to get a smart home device (which I actually do need), I might as well get the one that's already spying on me, rather than add another one to the list.
     
  6. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    Not to jump on you, but I'd really like to know what your definition of "need" is. And can you see no difference between having your emails scanned and every word said in your home monitored? And now whisper mode so Alexa can monitor even more closely.
     
  7. Danny Dawg

    Danny Dawg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Alexa . . . I see dead people. (Can't remember the movie clip though).
     
  8. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    I live in a small studio, and all my lighting is done with Philips Hue. So there's really no way to control the lights without buying a dedicated dimmer, use my phone, or use Google Home/Alexa

    What I meant between Google and Amazon was that Google is already snooping on me, so what do I care if they snoop more. If I got an Alexa, that's a new member to the party.
     
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  9. PeaKr

    PeaKr Gawd

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    Give it some time, you will. In the meantime.
     
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  10. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Alexa.... read my lips! #%&^!
     
  11. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    I operate under the assumption that my phone is already spying on me.

    That clapper could be useful.
     
  12. iamjanco

    iamjanco Limp Gawd

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    And for those of you who prefer to call your Alexa, Butch:

    "Hey, numbnutz... yeah you, shhhhhhhhhhhh, the kid's sleeping, stop making so much noise."
     
  13. ShadowXT

    ShadowXT n00b

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    (Whisper) Alexa... Where is my fleshlight order and 55 gallon of passion lube?

    Alexa: (whispering) Its next to your realdoll and dog bondage hood..

    Okay, thanks. Why are we whispering?
     
  14. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    <volume >9000> MORE LUBE ORDERED!
     
  15. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    It's called a light switch.
     
  16. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    I know you're being facetious, but given how Philips Hue works, that's actually the worst way to control them. In fact, it wipes the last brightness/color setting.

    That plus I'd need to manually toggle half a dozen switches.
     
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  17. DrBorg

    DrBorg Gawd

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    If you'd trade your privacy for convenience, damn...

    WTF are we as a species now.

    Toggling a switch is too much work. smh.
     
  18. readeh

    readeh Limp Gawd

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    Giving up your privacy because you want to control your lightbulbs by voice seems stupid to me.. Wait a few years when we have better privacy laws and buy it then. Google and Amazon have free roam to do whatever they want with your private information now. It's not worth it.
     
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  19. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    Toggling half a dozen switches, in addition to breaking all the features of my light bulbs. Due to my apartment's location, it gets very little sunlight. Having light bulbs which can go from 2000K to 6500K is basically a requirement.

    You're operating under the assumption your cell phone isn't already listening in on everything you do. I'm operating on the assumption that it's already spying on me.

    Assuming I didn't believe my phone was already spying on me, I could buy a dedicated remote for my lighting system. However, the functionality is significantly reduced.
     
  20. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    Switch too difficult? Why then I have the product for you "Clap on, clap off, the clapper"!
     
  21. AceGoober

    AceGoober Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!

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    Human: "Alexa, blow me."

    Alexa: "Activating air conditioning."
     
  22. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Phillips Hue is amazing. Only problem is if you have a decent setup with certain areas lit a certain way to optimize the lighting in the room, the light switch resets everything... it resets them to 100% bright white LED - emergency mode.
     
  23. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    It's a light bulb. How is it amazing? It provides light.
     
  24. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's awesome. But Hue is extremely expensive. I bought about 50 ft of the rope lighting for accent lighting and you don't even want to do the math. I live in a much larger place than a studio and "redid" nearly my entire house with Hue (they don't have the small chandelier style lights... yet), automated areas for motion like laundry so my wife doesn't leave the light on every time she goes down there, and she also loves the accent lights to change the mood of the room (currently purple which I'm fine with SKOL VIKINGS!).

    I did remove Alexa from my office room, don't need that spying.
    See above. It's not a "light bulb" unless you are completely unaware of what Hue is.
     
  25. 86 5.0L

    86 5.0L [H]ardness Supreme

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    *speaks in Spanish*
     
  26. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    It sounds like an expensive light bulb. I can't seem to find anything special about it that can't be achieved other ways that don't require networking something that has no reason to be networked.
     
  27. Soulmetzger

    Soulmetzger [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't need Alexa when I have kids and they can do things beyond what she can. I want a light turned off or on, I just tell the kids to do it. Try telling Alexa to go help bring in the groceries or run the vacuum.
     
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  28. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    You realize that they are led that can produce a high spectrum of color right? If you are talking about turning off and on the incandescent light bulb sure a switch, but you have have a house wired with color controlled leds it's a little different.
     
  29. d8lock

    d8lock Gawd

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    *Yeah, daddy likes it like that* <broadcasts said message to all family members>
     
  30. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    Man, I might as well go back to lighting fires for lighting.

    Actually, I can, since I got an entire drawer filled with tea candles. I can pretend I'm living in a cave.
     
  31. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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    You're not actually going to answer my question, are you?
     
  32. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    You don't seem interested in an answer, since you know of better alternatives.

    Care to divulge?
     
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  33. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    All of these proprietary voice assistants are the kind of tech that should be neat, helpful "Hey, wow we're living in the future" convenience and productivity enhancements, but because of people's lack of perception or valuation of their privacy and (most importantly) that corporations can pretty much do anything they wish under the thinnest veneer of justification , they're harmful to our society. Alexa recordings - during "downtime" no less when it was listening for the code word, not actively engaged - have already been requested and in some cases subpoenaed to aid in investigation or prosecution. There are just far too many devices out there that purchased by their ostensible owners,but some third party really controls and can access them in surveillance and other forms of data gathering.

    While there are some technical solutions (ie such as giving up "smart" items or voice assistants entirely) this shouldn't be necessary when legal fixes would solve most of these issues. Comprehensive data privacy and protection laws meant to serve the individual (and separate, weaker ones for corporations in and of themselves while being even stronger when being custodians of others data) are needed for many aspects of our society, but this particular issue would be solved by requiring that devices can only access data as required to provide a requested service, that data should be kept encrypted for the minimum amount of time necessary to grant the request, and swiftly purged afterward; no other uses of the data are justified. I can think of some additional provisions to deal with things like QoS / telemetry and more, but overall we could have a much better system with these changes as well as a total overhaul of how Terms of Service operate and consent is granted.

    Until such a time, I'd suggest looking into projects like Mycroft - https://mycroft.ai/ - as reasonable open-source alternatives
     
  34. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    Again, your reply doesn't change anything. You can buy a $5 dimmer, use your phone - which I would assume you currently are - and this is your idea of 'need'? Why did you install such a lighting system if it's so problematic for you to use? And I knew what you meant in the latter part of your post, but again, scanning emails is quite different from allowing them to listen to every word said in your home.
     
  35. steakman1971

    steakman1971 2[H]4U

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    They need cuss mode. Cuss at Alexa, she cusses back. "Alexa, turn off the fucking lights". Alexa: "Ok bitch, I turned off the lights you lazy ass."
     
  36. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    The proper dimmer costs $30, already halfway to the cost of a Google home mini.

    I would prefer not to cover my phone with raw food to Chromecast or set timers while I am cooking.

    I actually installed this lighting system because it's less problematic:
    -I have almost no natural lighting
    -2700K puts me to sleep, therefore I need something that can do different temperatures
    -Multi temperature bulbs that I am aware of are require multiple toggles, or cost about as much as a Hue light bulb anyways
    -There is only a single ceiling fixture, therefore almost all lighting is done with lamps
    -Not allowed to do electrical work, except maybe replace that one ceiling fixture - which would reduce my reliance on lamps but not negate it.

    Taking these factors into account, as well as say using wifi outlets, the cost of lighting my apartment would have been fairly similar to a Hue setup, with reduced functionality.

    So you're right in the sense I don't need a voice assistant but I assume my phone is listening to me. Therefore my choices are based on on this precedent.
    I am also often logged onto TS, and pretty much all the worst egregious this I say happens while I am depressing the PTT button. I don't make a note to hold single person verbal conversations with myself, and when I do it's usually profanity after stubbing a toe or burning myself.

    If I make the assumption that my phone isn't eavesdropping on me, and I fear what limited privacy I have is at stake, then obviously getting a home or alexa is a bad choice to make for the sake of convenience.

    I like how I am getting attacked for my lighting choices rather than the underlying assumptions and realities that lead me to that result.
     
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  37. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I find Alexa to be much better for home automation however go to slick deals, google home minis go on sale for 30 or less very often.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  38. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    I can't say I've used it as of yet, but check out OpenHAB - https://www.openhab.org/ - when it comes to home automation. It is open source and can handle many things directly, but it also can enable plug-ins to support/control devices made for many big-name setups like Hue or whatnot. Its free to download of course and can run from any PC you wish to set up as a server, but they recommend if you grab a RaspberryPi 3 if you want a dedicated local hardware device for OpenHAB as it's enough power to automate your entire home in most circumstances and there are nice distros made for the Pi for easy rollout.

    Those I've spoken with who've used it find that its useful for dealing with disparate hardware manufacture etc.. without having multiple servers and whatnot, while also having some great features. The only downsides are that you may need some configuration if you want to rope in some specific feature of a proprietary platform (ie Alexa Skills require you run the OpenHAB Cloud Connector plug-in from what I can tell), and that there isn't an existing "suggested hardware starter kit" for those without automation hardware items (ie Hue bulbs or whatnot) already.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  39. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    I got the feeling that Alexa is better for home automation. However, from what I gathered, it is far worse for things like Chromecast. Also, afaik, deals don't come up nearly as often for Home where I live.

    Not compatible.

    Is compatible. However from what I gathered, voice control with openhab requires you to toggle a listening mode manually. If that hasn't changed, then all this would get me is better voice commands - which is still very nice.

    My goal is to reduce my reliance on using my phone as the controller. I can already control my lights from my computer.
     
  40. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What if you need 2 of them? Voice assistants can be told which light to turn off, Alexa is even smart enough to be told which lights are closest to which echo device and you can just say turn off he light, she can tell which echo is receiving the loudest signal and she knows you are closest to that one and turns off the correct light. But you can also say Alexa turn off the garage lights cause I forgot to do that now I don't have to run out to the garage.

    Have you actually priced these things out? Price is actually how I started home automation with Alexa, I keep poison dart frogs but the same would apply to fish tanks or anything. I tried automated timers to turn the lights on and off and misters. But they were clunky and lost time every time I lost power and if I wanted to manually turn them on or off I had to go to wherever the cord was, now I could solve most of these problems but each solution might cose $5 more for an extension cord or look ugly. At one point I even spent over $200 to buy programmable outlets from china cause not one US company sold outlets with individually controllable outlets. Along comes alexa and I can go to amazon and buy a smart power strip that connects to wifi and has 4 independently controllable outlets for $30 and an echo dot for $30. Now these keep time and get back on schedule after power failures, I can turn them on and off with my voice and they do other things as well but for me I couldn't care less about jeopardy its just a bonus. Solved every one of my problems for $60 and is very convenient, you can easily go to home depot and drop $60 on a light switch or 2 and my dad is a home remodeler there was a job he quoted for $2000 to run wires and put in some 3 way switches. Alexa and a couple smart lights could do the same job for under $200.


    Usually in life when something starts blowing up its because its adding value or saving money but in the case of Alexa and google home its doing both.
     
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