Two years ago, Amazon introduced a technology called Echo Spatial Perception to its first-party Echo speakers. ESP ensures that when a person gives out voice commands, only the Alexa-enabled device closest to that person will respond, in case other Alexa devices are peppered around the house.

It's a clever way to prevent multiple devices from waking up at the same time. Only there's one big problem: support for non-Amazon devices have been shoddy at best, which, in a household filled with Alexa-enabled gear, could be messy. That changes now, thankfully.

Amazon Brings Echo Spatial Perception To The Cloud

Amazon has officially moved ESP to the cloud, which should ensure that all devices, Amazon or non-Amazon, can use it. Users don't even have to download any software updates to begin using the feature; it'll come on board automatically. Literally any Alexa device able to connect to the internet can now start using the feature. ESP will enable these devices to collaboratively determine which is closest to the user. Amazon was short on specifics, but presumably this is done by basing which noise-canceling array detects the strongest audio signal.

Amazon says developers who have existing devices that have already been updated with ESP via the old method can either continue using the current model or upgrade to the cloud version to free additional resources and bandwidth.

Cloud-based ESP also has improved accuracy when it comes to noisy environments, making sure Alexa always understands commands and queries clearly. Amazon also says it will change over time as Alexa receives upgrades.

"Alexa continues to become increasingly integrated with people's lives as she is enabled across more devices from a range of manufacturers," says Amazon Alexa director Priya Abani. "By automatically enabling all devices to take advantage of ESP, customers are given the best experience with Alexa across the growing number of devices and Alexa-enabled experiences."

There Are Still Some Limitations

That being said, some limitations remain. For example, many commands still apply specifically to the device where they're set, such as reminders, alarms, and timers. Hopefully Amazon is working on a more intelligent way of managing these across multiple devices.

The news comes during a busy time for Alexa, which also saw the debut of new features — equalizer controls for Echo speakers, and a "Tap to Alexa" feature for Echo Show and Echo Spot touchscreen speakers. Both these updates were added to make the devices more accessible to those who are speech-impaired or deaf.

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