Amazon’s Echo is getting more family- and roommate-friendly with support for multiple users. With an update to Amazon’s Alexa mobile app, users can train a nearby Echo or other Alexa-powered device to recognize individual voices. That way, each person can access their own news briefings, shopping results, messages, and playlists for Music Unlimited family plans.
Although distinguishing between voices is a tough engineering challenge for smart speakers, Google figured it out for its Google Home speaker six months ago. And Alexa is still a bit behind, as it doesn’t support multiple accounts for calendar details, non-Amazon music services, or third-party voice skills. Expect Amazon to try and close the gap over time as the two companies trade blows in the virtual assistant wars.