Saturday Night time Dwell this week offered a sneak peek at an Amazon Echo “for folks of a sure age.”
The sketch (under) advertises the Amazon Echo Silver, “the one sensible speaker machine for use particularly by the best era.” The wood-grain speaker, with a gold accents and accompanying stand, is “tremendous loud and responds to any title even remotely near Alexa.”
The fake spot opens with an aged Kenan Thompson yelling at his common Echo: “Alyssa, what time is it?” he asks earlier than making an attempt “Amanda!” and “Odessa!” Not like the true Echo, the Silver can have affected person back-and-forth conversations with seniors, who should not fairly certain of her responses. And remember the “uh huh” characteristic for Echo homeowners who prefer to ramble.
The SNL sketch comes shortly after Amazon rolled out Alexa Calling, which helps you to use the sensible speaker to put calls or ship messages. It is a pure development for the machine, however there’s one minor drawback: Alexa Calling doesn’t presently allow you to block sure contacts.
As Elise Oras outlined in a Medium post, activating Alexa Calling requires you to provide the Alexa app permission to entry you telephone’s contacts.
“Now, what I anticipated to occur…is a listing of contacts pops up and also you decide and select who so as to add,” Oras writes. “However that is not what occurred. As a substitute, each contact that additionally has the Alexa app is now in my Alexa Calling contacts. Amongst my contacts had been outdated landlords, many co-workers, random vendor account managers, metropolis councilmen, and naturally, loopy ex-boyfriends. And every one now has a direct line into my residence.”
Oras tweeted at Amazon, which told her there may be not presently a strategy to block somebody on Alexa Calling. To disable the characteristic, in the meantime, you must really call Amazon. The corporate, nonetheless, tells Geekwire that it’s going to add the flexibility to dam callers “within the coming weeks.”
When you preserve it energetic, Alexa will announce any incoming calls and the Echo ring will flip inexperienced. Say “Reply” to take the decision or “Ignore” dismiss it.