Users in the US will now be able to join their family or friends in a group video call with just their voice by simply saying “Alexa, call my family” or “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting” to connect to supported Amazon Echo devices such as an Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show.
In order to set this up, only one users will need to create and name a group in their Alexa app and then any member of that group can start a group call by saying “Alexa call my [group name]”.
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At the same time, users in noisy environments or those that are hard of hearing can use the new Call Captioning feature to have Alexa display text of what the other party on a one-on-one video call is saying in near real-time.
Video calls on Echo devices
The transition to working from home this year has led users to rely on video calls for both their work and personal life and while you can use your computer or smartphone for video conferencing, some users prefer to use a standalone device instead.
This is why Amazon has added the ability to join a video conference call with Alexa through Zoom as well as Amazon Chime on Echo Show 8 devices. To get started, users just need to say “Alexa, join my meeting,” “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, join my Amazon Chime meeting” to join a video call with their coworkers, friends or family.
However, adults aren't the only ones using video calls to connect with family members which is why Amazon has also made it possible for children using Amazon Kids app on either their Fire Kids Edition tablet or Fire tablet to make outbound Alexa-to-Alexa voice or video calls. These calls can only be made to approved contacts who have an Echo device or the Alexa app on their smartphone and the ability for children to receive incoming calls will arrive in the coming months.
Using one of Amazon's Echo devices as a standalone video conferencing machine makes a great deal of sense as it frees up the screen on your laptop or desktop to do other things while on a video call.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.