One big reason to pick a Google Home over Amazon’s Echo is for its ability to recognize individual users. This kind of multi-user support makes adding reminders and calendar events much easier for large households, therefore making Home a more compelling smart home device. The Echo has in the past been unable to handle this kind of nuance—until now.
Amazon today announced Alexa can recognize individual voices of people in your household. This will allow users in your home to perform actions like voice shopping, calling, and messaging.
To setup your voice profile, Alexa requires users to utter 10 phrases—everything can be setup through any Alexa device, including the Alexa app on your phone.
In a statement to The Verge, Amazon said the feature is designed to provide users with a more personalized experience. And the more people use it, the smarter it gets.
“Today the feature is available for calling/messaging, flash briefing, shopping, and the Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan, and it’ll be rolling out to additional Alexa features in the future,” a spokesperson told The Verge.
The new feature matches what was already offered by Google Home devices. It’s a smart decision by Amazon to bring parity to its Alexa-equipped devices, especially with the Google Home Mini hitting stores soon.