Amazon Tap goes hands-free, thanks to update

Just say "Alexa": Amazon's $129 Alexa-enabled speaker can now be summoned from across the room.

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CNET/CBS Interactive

Amazon on Thursday expanded more functionality to its Amazon Tap speaker via an over-the-air update that adds the hands-free capability to summon the Alexa voice assistant.

Prior to the update, Tap users would need to press a button to activate Alexa -- the only speaker in the lineup to require to do so manually. Now, they can summon Alexa with commands from across the room.

The hands-free capability can be enabled through Settings in the updated Alexa app. Once enabled, the always-on microphone could have a faster drain on the Tap's battery.

Amazon said the update also adds Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) that "works in environments with multiple Alexa-enabled devices to ensure that the correct device responds, or does not respond, when the 'Alexa' wake word is detected."

Video: Is Amazon Echo the first digital assistant that's actually helpful?

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