Amazon wants to improve your next post-work pint with the help of chatty AI assistant Alexa. With nine days until pubs, restaurants and hotels are allowed to reopen their doors to customers, Amazon wants to make the wait a little more bearable with some new additions to its Echo smart speakers and smart displays.
According to the study of 2,000 Britons conducted by the online shopping colossus, the thrill of eating at a busy restaurant or enjoying a relaxed coffee outside of the house are what the nation has missed the most over the last few months of strict social distancing and lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With over two thirds of those surveyed (70 per cent) claiming that the ambience of a busy restaurant or café tops their list of our most-missed sounds during lockdown.
And so, that’s exactly what Alexa can provide.
The new update, which should be available on any Alexa-enabled gadgets in your home right now, allows Amazon Echo to recreate some of the most missed sounds at home, bringing the ambience of a favourite pub or café to the living room.
For example, just ask, “Alexa, play café sounds”, and Alexa will play the sound of steaming milk and grinding coffee to accompany your work-from-home morning, or a quiet afternoon with a good book and an Americano.
Those who are missing the match day atmosphere will also be able to ask Alexa to “start stadium sounds” and enjoy the enthusiastic roars of an energetic crowd on a Saturday afternoon while watching the latest Premier League fixture (a number of which will be free to stream on Amazon’s Prime Video service). And most exciting of all, Alexa can recreate the background hubbub of a humble boozer.
Asking the talkative assistant to “open Bar Ambient” will fill your house with the reassuring sounds of your favourite pub.