Seattle-based tech giant Amazon is reportedly developing a new feature to allow the voice assistant that powers its Echo line of speakers to distinguish between individual users based on their voices.
The Alexa voice assistant, just like Apple Inc.'s Siri, is capable of interpreting and responding to voice commands such as "What movies are playing tonight?" or "How's the weather?" However, voice-enabled smart speakers lack voice-recognition and thus can't distinguish who is asking for something.
But that could change soon as some sources has suggested that the tech giant's new feature would match the individual's speaking to a voice sample (voice print) to verify his/her identity.
According to sources, the new feature would allow a primary account holder to require a specific voice sample or voice print to access certain commands. For instance, a user would be able to set ensure that a parent's voice would be necessary to make a purchase using a credit card.
Adding the reported Voice ID feature will make users' experience of sharing an Echo with other family members more seamless. It would also prevent incidents like the one in which a parent found in the past January that her 6-year-old daughter ordered an expensive doll house without her permission.
While sources claimed that Amazon has been developing the new feature since at least June 2015, it remains unclear when or if the reported feature will actually be launched.
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