Amazon Alexa can now detect your washer finishing laundry, running water too

Amazon Alexa can now detect your washer finishing laundry, running water too
Amazon keeps on upgrading and expanding Alexa’s functionality - back in June, the company launched a new Reading Sidekick skill for its smart assistant, while earlier last month another new feature allowed Alexa users to pause a song playing on one device and resume it on another.

Now Amazon has added another slew of new features to the smart assistant. Alexa can now detect two new sounds and use them in different Routines. Appliance Beeping enables Alexa to monitor house appliances and notify you when your washer finishes with your laundry, for example.

Water Running is also very useful and can spare you the flooded house in case you (or your kids) forget to close the sink, or there’s a malfunction in the aforementioned washing machine.

Previously, Alexa was able to detect dogs barking, babies crying, snoring, glass shattering, as well as smoke alarms beeping. You can set up a Sound Detection Routine for these and the two new sounds via the Alexa app.

Another cool new feature is the ability to ask Alexa to refill your prescription medications. Amazon Pharmacy customers can do this by simply saying “Alexa, refill my medications”, and they will subsequently get updates on the order and delivery status.

And while the aforementioned features are quite useful and can save you time and spare you potential trouble, there are some entertaining features as well. You can have a natural conversation with Alexa by saying “Alexa, join the conversation”.

The smart assistant will talk to you without the need for you to constantly repeat the wake word, she will respond when addressed and pause if interrupted. You can turn off this feature by saying “Leave conversation.”

This new Conversation Mode is available for the third-gen Echo Show 10 in the US, and when the feature is active there will be a blue border around the Echo Show 10 screen. There’s also a new TikTok feature for the Echo devices - you can ask Alexa to “open TikTok”, or “show you cooking videos” on the platform.

Finally, Amazon has improved the personalization depth of Alexa by adding something called Preference Teaching. Users can now teach Alexa their taste and preferences by saying “Alexa, I’m a vegan” for example, or “Alexa, I love Formula 1.” Next time you search for a restaurant or a recipe, Alexa will take into consideration this information, and offer you options accordingly.

How to set up an Alexa Routine

  1. Open the Alexa app on you phone or tablet.
  2. Navigate to More (the hamburger icon) and then select Routines.
  3. Tap on the Plus icon.
  4. From the menu choose "When this happens", and follow the steps in the app to select what starts your routine.
  5. Proceed to the "Add action" option, and follow the steps in the app to choose the action of your routine.
  6. You can select multiple actions for the same routine.
  7. Finally, tap on Save to save your new Routine.

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Bear in mind the there's a limit on the number of routines per account - you can have up to 99 of them. 

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