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If you’ve used an AI assistant such as Alexa or Siri, you’ve probably heard multiple devices try to answer your spoken requests at the same time. Amazon previously developed a “which device is closest?” solution for Echo speakers called Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), and today it’s expanding the feature to every Alexa device with the introduction of Cloud ESP.

As its name suggests, Cloud ESP moves ESP processing from the device to the cloud, a change that the company expects will have major benefits across the Alexa lineup. Unlike ESP, Cloud ESP will work on all existing and new Alexa-based devices — including third-party implementations, Echo speakers, and other Amazon Alexa products — without the need for per-device software updates.

Because Cloud ESP runs on everything, it will enable all of the devices to collaboratively determine which is closest to the user, most likely based on which noise-cancelling microphone array detects the strongest audio signal. The closest device will then take responsibility for answering the request.

Amazon also says that Cloud ESP is more accurate than its predecessor, even in noisy environments, and unlike a version that’s locked into a specific device, will continue to improve over time with cloud updates. The move from ESP to Cloud ESP has already taken place, so users should expect to enjoy the improved synchronization immediately.


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