Amazon updates Alexa so you don't have to say 'Alexa' repeatedly

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Alexa then gives you an exercise and tells you how long you have to complete it.

The basic idea is simple, and a little bit obvious in hindsight.

If you want Amazon's Alexa digital assistant to do something for you all you need to do is say "Hey, Alexa" and it will wake up and start listening for a command. The mode won't listen to just anything that's said though, but will instead look out for things that it thinks it's being asked. If you don't, she'll just go back to sleep automatically without saying anything else. At the very least it'll cut down the amount of times you have to say "Alexa" in any given day. This means that the user will have to clearly issue the command because if they don't, Alexa probably won't separate it from the background noise. It will also program Alexa to preface its simulacrum of human emotion with the phrase: "Sure, I can laugh".

Easy. Amazon is quick to point out that there are some circumstances where Alexa won't keep listening, so they're worth bearing in mind.

The have been widespread reports that Amazon Alexa has been freaking users out by giving a creepy laugh at unexpected moments and even reading out the names of funeral homes.

To enable Follow-up Mode on your Alexa device, open the Alexa app and head to the settings.

Scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on.

Devices like the Echo and Echo Dot will give users five seconds to hit it with a follow-up question after it answers your first one, lighting up blue to indicate that it's still listening. It also won't activate while you're listening to music, streaming an audiobook or making an Alexa call.