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.

FamilyShot centered
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.

Top Rated Comments

thekeyring Avatar
64 months ago
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.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djeeyore25 Avatar
64 months ago
Finally! Oh wait...I live alone.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
64 months ago
Haven’t we seen this before?

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruceEBonus Avatar
64 months ago
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!
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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.
How preposterous. You'll also be saying we can watch images of people in our living rooms that aren't actually physically there next!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
64 months ago
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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallManNY Avatar
64 months ago
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.
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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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