If you have multiple Amazon Echo smart speakers scattered throughout your home, you’ll soon be able to use them as room-to-room intercoms, via a new feature called “Drop-In.”
Amazon will officially release the Show in a few days, but in the meantime, the company is introducing a long-awaited intercom feature for existing Echo devices. The addition uses Drop-In, a teleconferencing feature introduced on the Show that lets close friends and family members call into one another’s device with little warning.
I really didn’t like the feature when I tested the device this week — I found it to be pretty intrusive compared to standard calling, but this implementation makes a lot more sense. This upgrade brings Drop-In to the Echo and Echo Dot, letting users communicate between devices in a network. So, you can, say, yell at the kids to come to dinner through the kitchen Echo.
You’ll have to name each Echo with a descriptive name, like “Living Room Echo” or “Master Bedroom Echo,” and enable the Drop-In feature via the Alexa app on your mobile device. Once you have everything ready to go, you can initiate a “call” by saying something like “Alexa, call the living room” or “Alexa, drop in on the Kitchen.”
The system can be used to keep in contact with household groups created during the setup process. So, you can talk to other Echo users in other homes. Perfect for checking on Grandma and Grandpa. (Am I the only one who found the feature a bit creepy in the “Echo Show” demo video from awhile back? I thought for sure Grandpa was going to catch Grandma with the plumber when he did a “Drop-In” on her.)
The update is rolling out to the Amazon Echo lineup of speakers this week. So, you should be able to use the new feature soon.