As of today, users in the US can ask their Alexa devices to speak slower or faster. The change is meant to make Alexa more accessible. Asking the voice assistant to speak slower could help people with hearing impairment better understand their device. And people who are blind or have visual impairments reportedly asked Amazon to speed up Alexa’s responses.
The update equips Alexa with a standard speaking rate, four faster rates and two slower rates. It’s the latest in a growing trend of tech companies working to make voice assistants more accessible and helpful to people with disabilities. Apple recently updated its Voice Control system. Comcast built an eye-controlled remote, and Google released how-to videos explaining its Assistant’s accessibility features.
It’s unclear if or when Amazon plans to expand this accessibility feature beyond the US.