Depending on your preference or capability, the speed of these digital voice assistants that we’re becoming dependent on, like Siri, Google Assistant, or Bixby, can sometimes be too fast or too slow. In most cases, you have to get used to it since you don’t have control over its speed or lack thereof. But now Amazon wants to help you with that, at least with its own assistant, Alexa. Customers in the U.S will now be able to adjust Alexa to their preferred speaking pace.
On any of your Alexa powered devices, like smart speakers or smartphones, you will now be able to adjust her speaking rate, whether you want her to go slower or faster, or go back to her original one. There are seven speeds to choose from; the standard speaking rate, four faster speaking rates, and to slower speaking rates. Adjusting to you preferred rate is actually pretty easy. All you have to say is “Alexa, speak faster” or “Alexa speak slower”. You can also say “Alexa, speak at your default rate” if you want her to go back to her original setting.
Accessibility is probably the major reason why Amazon has added this new feature. The older customers or those who are hard of hearing may probably want to slow down Alexa’s speech to better understand her. On the other hand, those who are blind or have visual impairments are mostly used to audio content already so they may want to go faster. But even if you don’t have accessibility issues, there are times when you want to speed Alexa up since it might be faster to just look at your phone for answers.
Amazon gave some of their employees and customers early access to the feature and they were able to tweak the things that needed tweaking. But according to their official post, the responses so far have been encouraging. Some say the “conversations” with Alexa feel more natural since she has the ability to speak faster than her normal rate. Those who need her to be slower said that the feature has changed the way they used and understood the digital assistant.
The seven speed options are currently available in the U.S only. There’s no news yet if they will also be able to roll it out to other countries or even globally all at once. We’ll keep you posted if that’s a concern for you.