Amazon Echo Smart Speakers Gain Room-to-Room Intercom Feature

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Amazon is releasing a software update for its Echo range of smart speakers that enables households with multiple Echos to use them as room-to-room intercoms (via TechCrunch).

    Once the new feature is set up, users are able to select a speaker in a specific room and communicate with it one-to-one - to call the kids to dinner from the kitchen Echo, for example.

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    To enable the function, users must first give a distinctive name (such as a room) to each Echo in their household and enable the Drop-In feature using the Alexa app.

    The intercom system works through household groups created during the setup process, meaning it's not limited to speakers on the same Wi-Fi, so it's possible to communicate with Echo-owning friends or relatives in a different area code, for instance. Users can also use the feature away from home using the Alexa app.

    The Drop-In feature first appeared on Amazon's new Echo Show with integrated display, with some reviewers finding the video aspect a little intrusive. Similarly, there doesn't seem to be a way to block the intercom audio on the standard Echo range, so it's worth keeping this in mind before enabling it.

    The update is rolling out to the Echo family of speakers this week.

    Article Link: Amazon Echo Smart Speakers Gain Room-to-Room Intercom Feature
     
  2. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

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    #2
    You can see the new race for "The New Home Entertainment Device" ramping up.
     
  3. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

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    #3
    If I got this right the audio is automatically two-way, right? I take it you need to "pick up" fitst then right?

    Either way, lovely feature, might consider using it.

    Glassed Silver:ios
     
  4. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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    #4
    Another thing reason to go for Echo over that Apple offering with a strange name.
     
  5. LiveM macrumors 65816

    LiveM

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    #5
    I'd rather do it via iMessage tbh. Even though intercom will doubtless be a HomePod feature, it's easy peasy to AirPlay an audio message to the Apple TV or Airplay speakers.
     
  6. thekeyring macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Next you'll be able to call other users.

    Can't wait for this technology to become small enough to fit in my pocket and cart around with me.
     
  7. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

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    #7
    I must be the only person who owns a house small enough to actually call someone else using nothing but my voice. Granted it does sometimes require me to walk around for a couple for a couple of seconds. I've even found myself wandering outside. The horror.

    Seriously, this seems like an eavesdrop waiting to happen. I don't typically buy into conspiracy theories, but If I recall correctly this is the same company that stripped the encryption out their OS and now they want to interconnect all of these two way speakers.
     
  8. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816

    BruceEBonus

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    #8
    So let's get this right. This device will allow me to talk to people with my actual voice? Beat that Darwin and your so called Theory Of Evolution!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 27, 2017 ---
    How preposterous. You'll also be saying we can watch images of people in our living rooms that aren't actually physically there next!
     
  9. NachoGrande macrumors 6502a

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  10. jaymie1983 macrumors member

    jaymie1983

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    #10
    Technology is getting ridiculous, it's encouraging people to be lazy and it's getting intrusive between people, it's not cool and we don't need it
     
  11. jermwhl macrumors regular

    jermwhl

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    #11
    This is a pretty cool feature. Now if you can drop in without permission, I can see that being an issue. But that is easily fixed via a future update.
     
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #12
    This should be mentioned in the article. By default, it is set so anyone in your contacts can drop in. You have to manually change it to household only.

    Drop in on the new show has drop in off by default though.
     
  13. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #13
  14. Kaibelf macrumors 68020

    Kaibelf

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  15. TallManNY macrumors 601

    TallManNY

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    #15
    Yeah, but at $400 for HomePods, how many homes will have multiples of those devices. There are definitely going to be features that Amazon can do better since it is selling the Dot at $50. This is one of them. And it seems great.

    I was never going to set up Drop In. But if I can set it up just for this feature, I might.
     
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #16
    and you can limit it to just household members.
     
  17. TallManNY macrumors 601

    TallManNY

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    #17
    I assume you can limit it to your Echos that are in your home. But anyone in the home will be able to use the intercom feature. I'm not inclined to buy any of these things that include a camera, so no risk there for me at this point. But if you did set this up and you did buy the Echo View thing which you are supposed to put in bathroom or bedroom to help you check your outfit in the morning, well the issues are pretty obvious. The pranks from kids and friends will happen.

    Still the possibilities are endless. I don't think folks realize how useful hands free always on user interface is. I could see married couples setting these up for home and work (assuming the work person has a private office) with a spouse being able to checkin throughout the day and easily communicate. Is it full VOIP? Can I set one up for instant overseas connection between offices? Or friends and family? Sure we can do that with our phones, but this is easier and Dots are only $50.
     
  18. djeeyore25 macrumors 6502

    djeeyore25

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  19. supertomtom macrumors 6502

    supertomtom

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    #19
    I'm still waiting for the walkie-talkie Apple Watch feature that disappeared :(
     
  20. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

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    #20
    They built it back in iirc and whilst - I - always prefer just yelling through the house unfortunately not everyone thinks like us in this regard. :)

    Glassed Silver:ios
     
  21. kdarling macrumors P6

    kdarling

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    #21
    Neat feature, except that I quite enjoy pretending that I cannot hear my wife at times.

    So... I'm not telling her about it :D
     
  22. nikicampos macrumors 6502a

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    #22

    Available 20 years ago in my grandparents house, and to tell you the truth, nobody used it, nobody!!!

    6a0111690e45fe970c0115707e9597970b-800wi.jpg
     
  23. Fall Under Cerulean Kites macrumors 6502

    Fall Under Cerulean Kites

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    #23
    My guess? Many. I have at least 6 Sonos zones, at my last count. The amount spent could buy at least as many HomePods.

    But even in a home with a need for six music zones, I have no desire for an “intercom” system. Hellllooooooo 1962!
     
  24. mikeyteh macrumors member

    mikeyteh

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    #24
    I think you're missing the point. It's handsfree. You don't have to get up, walk over to the unit, press and hold a button. You just speak and your voice is heard on the other Echos in the house. Now you don't have to stop what you're doing.

    Imagine you're making dinner for the family, and your hands are covered in whatever food products you were handling. Your old intercom would require you to interrupt food prep, wash your hands, then go push the button. Now you can just say, "Dinner's almost ready!" and keep wrapping up. I think it's a great feature.
     
  25. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #25
    stop speaking this logical talk. More features is a bad thing apparently =/
     

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