As posted on The next skill for Amazon Echo could replace a 50-year-old home gadget
Amazon reportedly has new tech in the works that could let you talk to anyone in any room in your house. Yes, Amazon just re-invented the intercom, only this time it’s going to be built into the Echo.
Rumors surfaced last month that pointed to Amazon and Google’s plans to bring home phone functionality to their smart hub assistants, the Echo and Home. It’s a logical step for the household-based smart devices — but it might not end there.
Multiple anonymous sources told Recode that Amazon is moving forward with its telephony project and is also working to turn Echo devices into a smart intercom system for the home. The sources claim the devices, which are currently in beta testing within the company, could be announced in the coming months.
Any room in the house with an Echo product could conceivably be connected to the system — and Amazon’s voice-command tech means that all you have to do to strike up a conversation with, say, your mom in the kitchen, is ask Alexa. You won’t even have to get up and walk over to a console, like old-school wall-based intercom systems from back in the day.
Just imagine how much easier asking Alexa could be than yelling up to her to whip up some dinner from your basement abode.
Amazon reps declined to comment on the reports.
An Alexa-based intercom system has more potential issues than making us all more lazy, though — prosecutors recently requested Amazon hand over voice data collected by and Echo as evidence in a murder trial. Amazon has so far refused, but turning the Echo into a portal for real-world conversations brings up questions about what technology will be involved, and whether those conversations will be in any way stored, even locally.