Amazon’s Patent about Alexa Recordings

Amazon Alexa

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Amazon Alexa

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In November of 2014, Amazon released a new piece of technology called Amazon Alexa. Many people buy this device to have something that quickly searches things up on the internet, orders things on Amazon, plays music, connects with other technological items in the house, or use it just for entertainment. Owners of this device connect it to their house and ask it to turn on or off the lights or even turn on or off the T.V. If customers decide to have more than one Alexa device in their house, they can connect all of the devices together. When they are connected, families can “drop-in” or make announcements allowing them to talk in different parts of the house through the system of Alexas. In order to activate Amazon Alexa, people must say, “Alexa” and tell it a command. Owners can also change the settings for it to respond to either Alexa, Echo, Computer, or Amazon. Many people have created similar devices to Amazon Alexa like Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

Recently, Amazon released a new patent explaining how they would create new technology that allows Alexa to listen to what people are saying before evening saying “Alexa”. This means Amazon will always be recording conversations going on inside the house. Many people are concerned with this because of privacy issues. Amazon explains they aren’t trying to invade privacy. Their intentions are to upgrade Alexa to make the device more human-like. For example, instead of having to say, “Alexa, play some music”, people can say, “Play some music, Alexa”. This allows the character of Alexa to act more like a human rather than a computer. They want the feeling of this computer to be more natural rather than computer-like. In the patent, it explains how it will record about 10-30 seconds of audio recording at a time and then deletes it from the memory until the owner calls its attention.

Although this patent was released, it is unsure that the upgrade will actually occur sometime in the future. Due to privacy concerns that owners and customers have, this upgrade may not be the best idea that Amazon has for the device. Many people believe that this new idea is similar to Apple’s “live photo” on iPhones 7 and up. This feature is where the camera records 1.5 seconds before someone takes the picture and 1.5 seconds after creating a small video when holding onto the picture. Just like “live photo”, Alexa would be able to listen to everything before people even awake it, sending the footage to Amazon.

Amazon recently released a new patent that many people disagree with. They have many privacy concerns of Amazon knowing every conversation going on in their house. In the patent, it explains how Alexa deletes the footage of the audio if there is no command, but no one knows if this is true or not. This new update for the Amazon Alexa app may not ever come out in the future but the idea is still out there.

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