Amazon is running a new Super Bowl advertisement from this Sunday, showing it on TV sets all over the country. And the ad obviously has the word “Alexa” in it, which means Echo devices all over the country could be chiming in whenever the ad is played. To stop that, Amazon has figured out a trick. Bloomberg reports that the devices won’t turn on, no matter how many times Jeff Bezos says “Alexa’s lost her voice?”
“We do alter our Alexa advertisements...to minimise Echo devices falsely responding to customers’ homes.” - Amazon
What’s unknown is how exactly Amazon does it. The company told Bloomberg, “We do alter our Alexa advertisements...to minimise Echo devices falsely responding to customers’ homes.” So, you can expect your Echo to remain silent when these new advertisements are playing.
But as always, the Internet is coming to the rescue. According to a Redditor, who goes by the name aspyhackr on the platform, the commercials may have been muted within the 3000 Hz and 6000 Hz range. Since this is outside the range of human hearing, Echo devices can determine that the “Alexa” wake word is not coming from a human source, and hence they can ignore it.
There’s no confirmation on this theory, but it seems as likely as any. We’ll probably just have to wait for the commercial to air to see the results.