Amazon has filed a patent for “voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users”. Amazon wants to develop the usability of Alexa by having it notice whether a user is getting ill by a change in their voice.
What could Alexa do about this? It could suggest medicine which you can get on Amazon Prime Now or suggest chicken soup recipes. Aside from suggesting whether the user is sic, TheNextWeb listed a number of over things the patent wants Alexa to detect:
- Emotion: Happiness, joy, sad, bored, anger and fear
- The sound of the user's voice or breath, so if they're sleepy or crying
- Where the user is by the background noise
- Age and gender
Back in June, Amazon announced a partnership with the UK's NHS so that symptoms could be diagnosed through Alexa. Health secretary, Matt Hancock, said " We are working with Amazon so the NHS Choices health information that millions use each day can be tailored for voice-activated devices. Currently, if you ask Alexa what do about your back pain – you don’t know where the answer will be sourced from."
The use of more analysis into the user's well-being and circumstances through their voice or breath can lead to Alexa suggesting more products and services to the user. Language and age detection will also allow Amazon to suggest geographical and age-based content for the user.