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'Hey, Samuel' wake word brings Samuel L. Jackson's voice to your Alexa devices faster

You no longer have to ask Alexa to talk to Samuel L. Jackson.

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Now you can ask Samuel L. Jackson a question directly, without having to say "Alexa" at all. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon on Wednesday updated its Samuel L. Jackson Alexa skill with a custom wake word -- "Hey, Samuel." First introduced in late 2019, the skill -- which costs 99 cents to download -- responds to your questions about the weather and other queries in Jackson's voice. Previously you had to say, "Alexa, ask Samuel L. Jackson for the weather" or "Alexa, ask Sam to play some music."

In response to customer feedback that the phrasing was clunky, the skill now has its own "Hey, Samuel" wake word. So instead of having to ask Alexa to ask Samuel L. Jackson a question, you can start with "Hey, Samuel, what's your favorite color?" and you'll get a direct response in the actor's voice, if you've signed up for the skill. 

As with other Alexa skills, the Samuel L. Jackson skill works with Alexa-enabled smart speakers, smart displays and other Alexa-enabled devices

Amazon considers this update, which allows you to use either "Alexa" or "Hey, Samuel" as a wake word, a proof of concept for its Voice Interoperability Initiative. The Voice Interoperability Initiative, an Amazon service that allows multiple voice assistants and wake words from different companies to work on the same products, has a variety of partners, including Facebook, Garmin, Ecobee and others. 

The updated Samuel L. Jackson Alexa skill is available now.

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