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
66 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
66 months ago
Finally! Oh wait...I live alone.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
66 months ago
Haven’t we seen this before?

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruceEBonus Avatar
66 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!
[doublepost=1498560829][/doublepost]
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
66 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
66 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)

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...