Skip to main content

Your Amazon Echo is about to get way more useful

You can load an Amazon Echo up with as many of its voice-activated Skills as you like, but if you can't remember the specific triggers for them, the Alexa voice assistant stops feeling quite so useful.

Amazon is working to smooth out the search for specific Skill commands however. It's rolling out a new beta feature called CanFulfillIntentRequest, which will let the developers of Skills tell Amazon the kind of questions their tool can answer.

If a user then makes a vague request from the speaker, CanFulfillIntentRequest will then scan all the Skills in its database to find a Skill most likely to respond appropriately.

Knowledge is power

"As a result, customers find the right skill faster, using the search terms they say most naturally," reads the Amazon Alexa blog post.

Using machine learning, the feature will consider factors like engagement and rating before delivering a Skill response, as well as, of course, how close its trigger aligns with your request. 

It sounds like a great, and arguably overdue, feature, which should take away some of those awkward moments when the voice assistant stumbles over what would otherwise seem natural requests. Keep in mind it's still a beta feature though, before you start expecting your Alexa device to become an oracle-like fountain of knowledge.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.