Tech Industry

Amazon's Alexa Hunches will remind you to lock your door at night

The ecommerce giant is trying to make Alexa more predictive.

Amazon held an event to announce new devices.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Alexa now knows what you need to do.

The e-commerce giant unveiled on Thursday a new feature for its smart assistant that will remind you stuff you need to do around the house. For example, if you say "goodnight" to your Echo, the software might remind you to lock your door if you haven't done so already. Or it could tell you if you've left a web-connected product running.

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Amazon debuted the function at a press event in Seattle. 

The original Echo, which debuted in 2014, has helped usher in a new era of voice computing. Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are building up their own voice assistants and integrating them into more devices as they race to catch up with Amazon. To stay one step ahead, Amazon aggressively expanded its line of Echo devices, pushed Alexa into hospitality and office spaces, and integrated the voice assistant into more than 20,000 kinds of devices.

Amazon's Echo remains the leading smart speaker in the US, with about 70 percent of the market, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The Google Home, the search giant's competitor, accounts for 24 percent, while the Apple HomePod has just 6 percent. Roughly 50 million smart speakers are in use in the US.

The companies are also battling to make their smart assistants smarter and more useful for consumers. Google, for example, touts that its Assistant digital helper can tap into the company's iconic search engine. Apple's Siri has tight integration with the iPhone. 

Amazon also announced other new stuff for Alexa, too. With one new feature, Alexa will reply to you in a whisper, if you whisper it a command. 

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