Amazon to offer on-device smart speaker processing

Users will have the option of keeping their smart speaker commands out of the cloud.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise cybersecurity, digital privacy, IoT, consumer tech, smartphones, wearables
Molly Price Former Editor
Bree Fowler

Amazon's new Echo smart speakers will allow on-device processing.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon will offer on-device processing on its Echo smart speakers for the first time. During its Tuesday product event, the company said it'll give users the option of having their smart speaker voice commands recorded and processed on their devices, rather than in the cloud.

On-device processing is generally considered better for digital privacy and security because it protects user data from being collected by Amazon or other companies for their own use.

"Privacy is foundational to everything we do," Dave Limp, Amazon's senior vice president for devices and services, said at the start of the event. 

Amazon says the new option is made possible by its AZ1 chip used for voice processing, which is currently used in last year's Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show 10. The company also announced a more powerful AZ2 chip, which powers the new Echo Show 15 smart display.

Amazon says it plans to eventually roll the option out to other devices, too.