Amazon has rolled out its 'Tap to Alexa' feature on the Echo line of smart speakers and it is available to only a few people in the US. This could be useful for those having hearing and speech impairments, so that they can use the device easily.
According to a report by the CNET, Amazon's 'Tap to Alexa' toggle allows users, especially those with hearing and speech disabilities to access shortcuts on the Echo smart speaker with a touchscreen. The shortcuts that are enabled by a 'Tap to Alexa' toggle are common Alexa queries such as news headlines, weather, timers, etc. Users can swap these shortcuts as per their needs. Additionally, it also comes with a keyboard icon, so that users having more queries can type it out rather than speak.
Accordingly, for the convenience of users, Amazon Echo can also add shortcuts to Alexa Routines which are commands which allow users to execute complex actions in one go. For instance, if you say 'Good Night', it will turn off the lights and close the blinds rather than give a separate command for each task or a string of shortcuts.
To turn on 'Tap to Alexa', you can go to Settings>Accessibility>Toggle on 'Tap to Alexa'.
Amazon has reportedly introduced another feature where the smart speaker can transcript incoming voice messages and on-screen captions. This is called 'Alexa Captioning'. This feature will be launched in India as well.
As of now, 'Tap to Alexa' feature will be available in Echo Show only, however, Amazon is reportedly working on bringing it to Echo Spot as well.