Amazon Echo devices get Group audio and video calls, call captioning

Ahead of the holiday season, Amazon has added a new feature to Alexa that will let users connect with friends and family easily. Amazon has introduced group calling with Alexa with the option to add up to seven members. One can make group audio or video call hands-free by giving a command to Alexa.

“Although it’s been a difficult year, we’re humbled by the many stories we’ve received from customers about how Alexa features, like video calling and Drop In, have helped them stay connected with their loved ones—no matter the distance apart. It’s these stories that have motivated our teams to do more,” Amazon said in a blog post.

How to start group call on Echo devices with Alexa

To start a group call, users can simply say, “Alexa, call my family,” from supported Echo devices like Echo Dot, Echo Show, or an Echo. Do keep in mind that a user will need to first create a group and name it in their Alexa app after which any member of the group can start a group call.

The new calling features are being rolled out to US users as of now as the holiday season approaches. Apart from group calling, Amazon has also announced a feature that lets users join a video conference call with Alexa through Zoom and Amazon Chime on Echo Show 8 devices. One can give commands such as, “Alexa, join my meeting,” “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, join my Amazon Chime meeting”

Amazon has also unveiled Call Captioning feature that could be particularly useful for users who are deaf, hard or hearing, or in noisy environments. It essentially allows Alexa to display the text of what the other caller is saying in near real-time during one-on-one Alexa video and audio calls and Drop In calls. As of now, the features only supports US English and is available for Echo SHow devices.

Alexa-to-Alexa voice or video calls to approved contacts can now be made using the Fire Kids Edition tablet as well as the Fire tablet via the Amazon Kids app. Prior to this, the feature was only supported on Echo devices through Amazon Kids app.

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