Anyone who has an Amazon Echo will know how annoying it can be when the device activates itself after falsely detecting that someone has uttered its wake word - usually "Alexa".
The company announced Alexa's new Notifications feature on Tuesday, stating that the addition is "a way [for Alexa] to proactively signal new content is available from skills and domains". They also allow you to control your smart home devices through the Echo, including lighting systems, camera-enabled doorbells, and smart thermostats.
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Amazon is going to be adding notifications to its Alexa service, so that skills can provide you with information as it becomes available, unprompted, as opposed to only in response to active voice queries made by a user. Users will then be able to ask questions like "Alexa, what did I miss?" or "Alexa, what are my notifications?"
Amazon is already working with a few partners to implement notification support - for example, the Washington Post will provide breaking news, and the AccuWeather skill will send weather alerts. A green notification light spins around the top of the Echo showing a user that there's a voice message; the same light will be used as a notification indicator for third-party apps. In the near future, that will change as Amazon looks to enable notifications for services that can alert you as new information arrives that you might find useful.