Amazon files patent to record before you say ‘Alexa’


Amazon is looking to capture and process “portions of a spoken utterance command that may occur before a wake word.”

Amazon wants to patent the system for its smart home devices capturing and processing speech before the wake word.

Amazon has filed to patent a method for Alexa to start recording before anyone uses the wake word.

The patent filing, first spotted by BuzzFeed News, would capture and process incoming audio, detect long pauses, and send the data to a remote server while Alexa waits for the wake word.

“When the system detects a wake word within a particular utterance, the system determines the most recent utterance change location prior to the wake word and sends the audio from that location to the end of the command utterance to a server for further speech processing,” Amazon explains in the patent filing.

Amazon filed to patent the method that receives audio of speech, buffers this data, determines whether the audio includes “a number of consecutive audio frames with an energy level below a threshold,” and decides via tone and speed whether a new utterance has occurred.

The system then discovers and stores the “location” in the sentence where a new utterance occurred, detects the wake word in a second location of the speech, and sends a portion of this audio data to be processed at a remote server wherever “a beginning of the portion of audio data corresponds to speech at the first location.”

It then determines the end of the new utterance in a third location of the sentence; concludes sending audio data to the remote server; receives command data from the remote server; and executes the command data.

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