“OK Computer” (or… how to force a firmware update on your Amazon Echo or Dot)

Actually, you don’t need the “OK”…

“Computer” wake word is here!

News of a new wake word for the Amazon Echo and Dot has been floating around on the web for the last 24 hours.  It comes as part of a new firmware update for the devices.

Presently, you gain the attention of your Echo or Dot by using, “Alexa”, “Amazon”, or, “Echo”.  Only one of these words can be configured at any time for each device, but recognition performance I find to be very good.

Today though, a new wake word has appeared in the accompanying app, if, your device firmware has been updated – “Computer”!  If you’re a (slightly) older geek than most, you probably remember the days of watching Star Trek with the crew interacting with the highly intelligent on-board computer using only voice – well now you can recreate it.

Wait! Don’t forget that firmware update!

From what I can tell, you don’t need to update your smartphone app to get this new wake word, but you DO need to update the firmware of your Amazon device.  After a bit of reading around, I’ve found that you can do this really easily.  

Red Ring = Echo is ignoring you

On the top of your Echo or Dot, there is a button to stop your device from listening.  Simply press that, and a red ring appears instead of the nice blue listening indicator.  Leave it showing red for at least 30 minutes, and the firmware update should kick in.  You’ll not see anything happen on the device as such, but just head back to your app and if you can see the “Computer” option under the wake word settings, you’re good to go!

 

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