Amazon brings People Discovery to Echo
Amazon brings People Discovery to Echo

Starting this week, an Amazon Echo speaker and Echo Dot can use ultrasound to detect occupancy in your home and turn other connected devices on and off like light bulbs or Fire TVs.

This feature was first mentioned at Amazon's hardware event in September. The fourth generation Echo and Echo Dot speakers can now emit inaudible ultrasound to detect if there are people in the room.

You can turn this feature on or off in the Alexa app. You can also set up a recording routine to use this new feature to perform certain actions, such as: for example, turn on the light when you enter a room and turn it off again when the room is empty.

You can also listen to Alexa music or radio stations if it detects movement near your Echo during a certain period of time, then turn it off immediately when you leave.

This feature is included under Motion Detection in the Alexa app settings for each compatible Echo device. You can enable or disable this feature.

This feature is similar to the new Echo Show devices that detect motion. But he relies on his camera to see if there is anyone in the room.

The Echo speaker does not have a camera. Therefore, the device detects movement by emitting inaudible ultrasound waves. The wave is reflected off nearby objects before returning to the device's microphone.

Amazon supplies it with ultrasound technology

Google also uses ultrasound in the Nest Smart Display and Nest Mini speakers to detect the distance between a person and the screen or speaker and to represent different interfaces.

For example, the volume control appears through a small speaker. You cannot currently use ultrasound detection to trigger Google Home actions.

There are many independent motion sensors that work with Alexa to perform routine operations. Including from Philips Hue, Aqara and Centralite.

This new feature means you don't have to rely on any of these add-ons to turn on lights or music.

It also improves Amazon's view of surrounding smart homes, as your home automatically responds to the smallest of requests from residents.

To achieve this goal, Amazon needs to invest more energy in Alexa. Setting up routines to turn the lights on at the correct brightness for this time of day and then turn them off again when the room is empty still requires a lot of patience and a lot of technical knowledge.

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