Smart Home

Amazon Echo's new wake word is a gift to Trekkies

Make it so, Alexa!

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There's a new way to wake up the Amazon Echo smart speaker, and Trekkies are going to flip for it.

Just say, "Computer."

You can change your Echo's wake word in the "Settings" section of the Alexa app.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

It's the newest "wake word" for Amazon's voice-activated Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers. By default, the wake word is "Alexa," with "Amazon" and "Echo" as alternatives. "Computer" is your brand-new fourth option, and it's an obvious call-out to the voice-activated controls on Star Trek's Starship Enterprise -- a fitting tribute, given that the Echo was initially pitched within Amazon as "a Star Trek computer for your home."

Amazon tells us that it's still rolling the new wake word out to users via software update, so it isn't available for everyone just yet. If you want to make the switch, just open the Alexa app and select "Settings" from the sidebar menu. Tap on the Echo you want to tweak, then scroll down to "Wake Word." Select "Computer" from the drop-down list (if it's available), then tap save.

Alexa already has plenty of love for Star Trek. Try saying "beam me up," or "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot," to hear an Easter egg response.

After enabling the setting on the Echo in my own home, I tested it out by saying, "Computer, set phasers to stun."

"That's a feature for a future update," Alexa replied.

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