Amazon Tap update enables voice activation of Alexa

The portable Amazon Tap was deemed by some to be impotent because of the need to tap a button on the speaker in order to trigger the voice assistant, Alexa — well, it was in the name.

But it makes less sense to not just be able to yell “Alexa” from a couple rooms away to make sure your home’s the right temperature. And that ability has not been there since the start… that is, until now.

A firmware update is headed on the way for Tap owners. Once it arrives, the Alexa app on their phones will be updated. After that, users can head into the settings and enable the “Hands-free” feature. It will require Wi-Fi to operate just by “Echo Spatial Perception” to detect the Alexa hotword. They can mute or unmute the seven microphones on the device by holding down the play/pause button for three seconds. Battery life impacts are yet to be determined, though its expected to be firmly in the negative side.

The firmware update will take weeks to saturate Taps.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.