Amazon has a new trick up its sleeve to make its Echo device even more useful.
The eCommerce king, via its latest free software update, is giving its Internet-connected, Alexa-run line of devices the ability to be used as intercoms.
To use the new functionality, you must first name each of your Echo devices such as ‘kitchen’ or ‘Bobby’s room’ and the enable the Drop-In feature via the Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant app. Once that has been done, you can activate the feature by saying “Alexa, call the living room.”
You will also have the option of accessing the intercom feature through Alexa’s Smartphone or tablet app. That means you can use the smartphone app to call a family member on their Echo speaker even when you are not at home.
The new functionality comes just as Amazon is gearing up to begin shipping its Amazon Show devices tomorrow.
An Echo device can play your favorite songs, give the weather forecast, update a shopping list and check your calendar. Echo also responds to commands and questions. For instance, you could ask, “Alexa, who created the Internet?” or “Alexa, how many ounces are in one pound?”
The Amazon Echo ships for $180 while its much cheaper cousin, the Echo Dot, rings up at $50. The Amazon Show is available for $230.