Your Amazon Echo just got an upgrade that could spell the end of Alexa

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Anyone with an Amazon Echo in their home can now stop saying “Hey Alexa” and try something new instead. The online retailer has just announced an upgrade which adds a new wake word for all UK customers.

From today, Echo owners can shout “Hey Ziggy” with their smart devices then springing into life and ready to answer any questions, set timers, read the news or boom out favourite playlists.

The “Hey Ziggy” command now joins a number of other wake words that can be used on Amazon’s devices with Alexa, Amazon, Computer and Echo all priming the popular assistant so it’s ready to respond to any queries you have.

If you want to use the new Ziggy phrase rather than the standard Alexa command it’s not as easy as simply shouting the new word at your speaker. Firstly, you need to tell the device that you want to change things up and ditch Alexa. This can be done on the screen if you own an Echo Show or in the Alexa app on your smartphone.

To change things, launch the app, then tap Devices at the bottom of the screen. Chose the speaker you want to change, then go to the settings menu of that device which is in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Scroll down until you see the Wake Word panel then tap and switch it from Alexa to Ziggy.

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One word of warning! If you own any Apple device, this new Amazon wake word sounds very similar to Apple’s “Hey Siri” and can mean multiple devices start responding at the same time. Trust us, we’ve tried it and it cause a fair amount of chaos.

Speaking about the update, Dennis Stansbury, Alexa UK Country Manager, said: “We are constantly looking for ways to offer our customers more choices so they can personalise their Alexa experience. The wake word is very important as Alexa devices are specially designed to only detect the user’s chosen wake word.

“Our devices detect wake words by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word, so a lot of consideration goes into the selection. We chose ‘Ziggy’ not only because it performed well in testing, but because it’s fun and reflects Alexa’s wealth of knowledge on everything from A to Z.”

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