New “Computer” Wake Word on Echo

Leor Grebler
2 min readJan 24, 2017

It’s no secret that Jeff Bezos is a big fan of Star Trek. This is why it’s probably not a surprise that Amazon quietly rolled out a new wake word for the Echo… “computer”. The Verge picked up on this yesterday.

Here’s a little fun I had playing the the new wake word this morning:

Several years ago, we had used Sensory’s TrulyHandsFree to create a user-defined trigger of “computer” on the Ubi:

While this is amazingly fun, computer is not necessarily an ideal wake word because:

  • It can be used in regular conversation
  • It only has three syllables
  • There are many words that share it’s consonants and syllables (words like controller, future, mature, texture, etc…)
  • It’s not unique

However, maybe that’s an overstated issue. Ngram viewer shows that the popularity of the word, at least in published books, peaked and is waning.

Use of “computer” from Ngram Viewer

Kudos to Amazon for adding this and making millions of trekkies giddy.



Leor Grebler

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at