Amazon gives Alexa a new name

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In the UK, Amazon has introduced a new wake word for its Echo devices. In addition to “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer,” and “Echo,” “Ziggy” is the fifth wake word choice for Echo devices.

All wake word selections can be used with either the male or female voice options for Alexa, and users can alter the wake word of their Echo devices using the Alexa app or the Settings screen on Echo Show devices.

Dennis Stansbury, the Alexa UK country manager for Amazon, said the company “is continually searching for ways to provide our customers more choices so they can personalise their Alexa experience.”

The wake word is essential because Alexa devices are made to only recognise the user’s selected wake word. The choice is carefully considered because our systems find auditory patterns that match the wake word in order to recognise it. We selected “Ziggy” because it was entertaining and reflected Alexa’s extensive understanding of topics ranging from A to Z, in addition to performing well in testing. As a side note, I am a self-avowed David Bowie enthusiast and I adore telling my Echo gadget to play Ziggy and play the guitar.

When it was noticed that Amazon had upgraded their speakers to have a more masculine-sounding voice, the ‘Ziggy’ voice was first made public in July of this year.

The voices must be altered across a house because they are not saved across a user’s account but are instead linked to each particular Echo.

Although not officially connected, the new wakeword arrived at the same time as the new voice. The two different voices were referred to as “Original” and “New” in the app by Amazon.

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