Amazon Alexa can now wake up devices in low-power mode

Amazon Alexa can now wake up devices in low-power mode
Amazon recently released the Wake-on-LAN Controller, a new development tool allowing users to wake up devices in the sleep mode with voice commands.
Users had not been able to control devices that are in the low-power mode, because voice commands require cloud access. If they wanted to make appliances voice-controllable, they need to first wake them up from the sleep mode manually, before start using voice commands. It wasn’t a fluent user experience.

The Wake-on-LAN Controller doesn’t require cloud access. Instead, it sends a command over Wi-Fi or Ethernet to the device with the MAC (Media Access Control) address, and the “Turn on Directive” packet will wake up the device immediately.

For the devices that are integrated with the new feature, users can just say “Alexa, turn on my TV,” for example, to turn on a television in the low-power mode.
Device makers need to integrate the Wake-on-LAN Controller interface into their existing Alexa voice skills to enable this new feature. It doesn’t require any hardware changes. Companies including VIZIO, LG and Hisense have promised to integrate the new feature in select devices over the next few months.

Calling via Skype

After releasing the first version of Cortana-Alexa integration, Microsoft is bringing a popular service, that is video calling service Skype, to the Alexa voice assistant.
Echo speakers will start to support Skype calling, and Echo speakers with a screen will have the Skype video calling functionality. It will also allow users to call mobile phones and landlines using SkypeOut. Users can start the voice calling by saying “Alexa, call Tom on Skype.”
Alexa has its own calling feature, which allows voice and video calling between Echo devices and landline calling. However, it doesn’t support calls between non Echo devices. The Skype integration thus expands the calling ability on Alexa, like voice calls between an Echo speaker and a PC device. It brings more convenience to users who use Skype often.

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