Echo Auto: How to Change the Wake Word from Alexa to Something Else
Using your hands to interact with your devices is so last decade. Voice commands are all the rage in the tech world, with recent and ongoing advances in vocal recognition and AI powering a revolution in how we handle our tech.
Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant was designed from the ground up to be a voice powered aide to your daily needs, and you can customize it in a lot of ways to make sure that you get what you want from it. Pretty much all of their latest devices come with Alexa integrated, including everything from their smart plugs to their car co-pilot device – the Echo Auto.
What Is the Echo Auto?
The Echo Auto is essentially a system that turns your car into an Alexa-enabled device. It’s controlled via the Alexa app on your smart phone or tablet, and connects to your car using either Bluetooth or auxiliary input.
It has eight microphones, to ensure that it can still hear you speak over the ambient noise that comes with driving, as well as stream music, podcasts, and get directions, among the other standard functions you can expect from Alexa.
Why Can’t You Change Alexa’s Wake Word on the Echo Auto?
While you can have a custom wake word on the vast majority of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices this sadly isn’t possible on the Echo Auto.
The main justification provided for this lack of functionality is that changing the wake word is only really necessary in situations where you have more than one device with Alexa on it. Changing the name is necessary to avoid confusion between the devices, and you’re only likely to have one Alexa-enabled device in your car. The other reason offered is that Alexa is the word that they have best trained the device to recognize.
These excuses fall somewhat short though, as there are a lot of people out there who have become used to using their customized wake word. Having to do the mental gymnastics from saying “Computer” to “Alexa” is both frustrating, and a waste of time.
It’s also a problem for any of the people called Alex that have an Echo Auto in their car. Considering between 15,000 to 20,000 people have been given that name per year for the last 30 years in the US alone, this not an insignificant issue. And that doesn’t even include people with names similar enough to Alexa to also trigger it.
The only way this will change is if Amazon wises up to the fact that this is an issue for a large number of their users. This isn’t as easy as it should be, as the link they provide for emailing them with product suggestions just leads you to a page with an instant chat function, or a call back option. Hopefully, Amazon will soon get their act together on this front.
How to Change Alexa’s Wake Word on Other Amazon Devices
If you have another Alexa-enabled device, and want to change the wake word on it (if doing so is supported), then these are the steps you’ll need to take:
- Go to your phone or tablet’s Home screen.
- Open the Alexa App.
- Tap on the Devices icon.
- Tap on the device you want to change the wake word for.
- Tap on Wake Word.
- Find the new word you want to use on the provided list, and tap on it.
- Tap on OK.
You can also change the wake word using the voice command: “Alexa, change the wake word.”
When you’ve changed the wake word on your device, the light indicator should briefly flash orange to notify you that the change has taken place.
Try Not Being Called Alex Next Time
It’s not an ideal situation that you can’t change the Amazon Echo Auto’s wake word for a number of reasons. Sorry to all Alexes of the world, you’ll just have to get used to your Echo Auto butting in whenever someone says your name.
If you’ve found a workaround that we’ve missed, we’d love to read all about it in the comments section below.