Echo Show 10’s talk mode lets Alexa join chats

Those of us with Echo devices have a habit of saying “Alexa” whenever we want to talk with Amazon’s voice assistant, but now there’s a way for you and anyone nearby to chat with it. Alexa without repeating her name several times.

The trick: Alexa’s new chat mode, which was first announced a year ago and just rolled out to the third-gen Echo Show 10. All you have to do is say “Alexa, join the conversation,” and Alexa will start responding to commands and requests from you or anyone in her eye, all without having to say the wake word.

Of course, there’s already an Alexa feature that lets you talk to her without the wake word: Follow-up Mode, which lets you ask follow-up questions after an initial request without having to say “Alexa” again. But while the track mode comes in handy for brief discussions about the weather (“And what’s the weather tomorrow? “), Conversation mode allows for” smooth interaction “with multiple participants, according to Amazon.

Here’s how it works: If you’re (say) in the kitchen with the Echo Show 10 and want to have a natural conversation with Alexa, you can say “Alexa, join the conversation.” Whenever Conversation Mode is active, you’ll see a blue glow around the screen, while a light blue bar at the bottom of the screen lets you know when a question is saved and sent to the cloud.

alexa talk mode blue light Amazon

You’ll see a blue glow around the screen when Alexa’s talk mode is active.

So how will Alexa know when you’re talking to her and someone else isn’t? According to Amazon, Alexa “will use visual and acoustic cues” to know when someone is speaking to her, the most basic being whether anyone in the room is looking at the screen (remember, the new Echo Show 10 has a rotating screen) when asking a question. If you or someone else interrupts Alexa, she’ll take a polite break, and I hope she doesn’t get involved in those boring “elsewhere” digressions.

Read our review of the third generation Amazon Echo Show 10

Once you have had enough of Alexa, you can say “Leave Conversation” to dismiss her. Amazon also promises that talk mode will automatically turn off if you don’t speak with Alexa for a “short” time.

Amazon says Conversation Mode will begin rolling out to the third-generation Echo Show 10 in the “coming weeks.” It’s unclear when – or if – talk mode will arrive on other Echo devices.

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