Amazon Puts Alexa to Work as an Intercom

Amazon Puts Alexa to Work as an Intercom
Echo users can now broadcast their voice from one device to all the others in their home.

(CCM) — Amazon's Alexa intelligent assistant can now summon a household for dinner thanks to a new feature called "Announcements," Fortune is reporting.

The new feature turns any Echo device into an intercom which broadcasts messages to all the other Echos in the home. "Customers can simply say to their Echo device, 'Alexa, announce that dinner is ready,' and 'Dinner is ready' will then be announced in your voice to all other compatible Echo devices in your household," Amazon said.

The "Announcements" feature can also be activated by saying things like "Alexa, tell everyone…" or "Alexa, broadcast…" It can only be used in homes with more than one Echo device, but Amazon says that there are already "millions" of customer who have multiple Echos in their homes.

Google unveiled similar functionality in its Google Home product in November 2017, activated by the phrase "OK Google, broadcast…"

Amazon's new feature complements the capability for Echo users to call landlines and mobile phones anywhere in the U.S. from the device, and the "groups" feature which allows users to play music through two or more Echo devices in their homes at the same time.

Amazon has started rolling out the "Announcements" feature today in the U.S. and Canada, and will likely introduce it worldwide later in the year.

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