Alexa is about to get more assertive.
Amazon is adding notifications to its voice-enabled assistant, allowing users to choose to receive alerts via their Echo devices when one of the services they use has new information waiting for them.
“When available, users will be able to opt-in to notifications per skill using the Amazon Alexa App and will be alerted when there’s new information to retrieve by a chime and a pulsing green light on their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show device,” writes Amazon’s David Isbitski in a post this morning. “When users enable notifications on a skill like The Washington Post, the skill will send status updates to the device. Users can simply ask, ‘Alexa, what did I miss?” or ‘Alexa, what are my notifications?’ and Alexa will inform users of the latest breaking news.”
Customers will be able to disable or temporarily suspend notifications by putting the device in Do Not Disturb mode.
Amazon says the option will be available soon through third-party skills from AccuWeather, The Washington Post, Just Eat, Life360, and other services. The company will also offer device makers and developers the ability to add Alexa notifications to their services.
It’s the latest attempt by Amazon to extend its lead in the voice-enabled home assistant and speaker market, where companies including Microsoft and Google are starting to compete more aggressively. Last week Amazon rolled out voice calling and messaging for select Echo devices and the Alexa app.