Alexa's new 'Follow-Up Mode' listens for more commands

Alexa's random creepy laughter is freaking out Echo users

Amazon has figured out why your Alexa smart speaker is laughing at you

The E-commerce company Amazon has added a new feature for its Alexa voice assistant that would let one make subsequent requests without needing to repeat one's Echo speaker's wake word.

Several people who own Amazon's Echo speakers have reported a odd bug: The Alexa voice assistant has been laughing for apparently no reason.

The Follow-Up Mode in Alexa now has no equivalent on its rivals. However, at any time, you can abruptly stop Follow-up Mode by saying "stop", "cancel", "go to sleep", or "thank You". Amazon Alexa will now listen for 5 more seconds after the user has started speaking in order to hear if he or she has anything else to request. Previously, when you asked Alexa a question, you had to say the wake word every time. Choose a device and scroll down to the newly added "Follow-Up Mode" toggle.

Alexa is easily the current leader of the growing virtual assistant market, and Amazon is keen to stay ahead of competition from Google and Apple. The blue light will go out as usual to show that Alexa is no longer listening.

On paper, follow-up mode sounds useful enough.

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Locate and select your Echo device. There's the fact that for it to determine a command is indeed a follow-up, Alexa must first be "confident" that the second command isn't just background noise from people chattering or a dialog from a TV program. For now, follow-up is only offered in English and only works when Alexa isn't doing a continuous command, such as reading an audiobook or making a call.

So, it'll be interesting to see how well this feature works going forward.

The feature appears to be available for the entire Amazon Echo lineup, as well as some third-party Alexa devices.

The feature is available on all hands-free Alexa-enabled devices.

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