Amazon has a new wake word for its Echo speakers, letting you trigger the Alexa voice assistant by uttering “Computer” aloud. It’s far more susceptible to accidental activation, yes, but it’s also a dream come true for Star Trek fans who watched both original series and TNG crew members address the Enterprise’s on-board computing systems directly.
I have tried this feature, which has quietly been rolling out for users for some time now, and it works as advertised. I’m going to continue using it until I find myself accidentally triggering Alexa much more than I do now, which is not very often at all.
I’ve tried to confuse Alexa with illogical statements in order to prompt it to self-destruct, but to no avail. I’ve also tried to initiate the self-destruct sequence via a lengthy series of memorized codes, but this Computer hasn’t yet blown up my house. At least Scotty would not look like a total fool if he ever has to time travel back to 2017, possibly the save the whales a second time.
You can check for this feature in your Alexa app, under the settings for specific Echo devices, where it lets you select your Wake Word from a list of now four options.