Amazon has updated the Alexa app to allow households to set up voice recognition for each person, then deliver personalized experiences based on who's talking.
Through the new Your Voice feature, which has officially started rolling out to customers in Canada, Alexa device users can run through a series of steps so that Alexa recognizes their voices, then get personalized calling and messaging, calendar updates, music, shopping, and flash briefings.
To set up Your Voice, simply say "Alexa, learn my voice," then follow the verbal instructions. The roll-out is ongoing, so this step didn't seem to work for me. I then switched to the Alexa app, which you can also use to create your unique voice profile. Go to Menu, select Settings, and Your Voice under Accounts. Use the drop-down menu to select the select you want to interact with if you have more than one set up in the home, enter your name, then follow the steps to teach Alexa how your voice sounds. She'll ask you to say a series of 10 phrases aloud, from up to five feet away, like Alexa, buy hot sauce, to Alexa, turn on the lights in the living room, or something similar. Once done, she has calibrated your voice and attributed it to the name you've entered.
All that is required to set up Your Voice is a registered Alexa account and an Alexa-enabled device. To use Alexa to do things like call contacts or send messages, however, you must enable this function through the app, and can only send to others who have signed up for Alexa messaging.
Recognition across Alexa-enabled devices in the household is automatic once enrolled.
Support for additional Alexa features will roll out in the future. Similar to other Alexa features, this feature will get smarter over time and as you use it.