Amazon is launching a new video or group voice calling feature for Echo devices today, just in time for the holidays. The conference calling was originally announced in September, and it will allow up to seven participants to join a voice or video call on supported Echo devices such as the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. Amazon is launching conference calling today in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Echo owners will be able to create and name groups using the Alexa app, and Amazon is also planning to support group calling through the Alexa app soon. You will be able to add adult contacts to groups, and friends and family will have to sign up to be part of the group calling. This new feature also supports Alexa commands like “Alexa, call my family” to call a group you’ve created.
Echo conference can be a good alternative to Zoom and other video calling services. There are no restrictions on call times, allowing Echo owners to freely make or receive audio and video calls. Without an Alexa app that supports group calling, it’s only limited to requesting devices for now. Zoom has I started raising the meeting limit of 40 minutes For many upcoming holidays, as competitors such as Microsoft Teams Video calls all day for free No limits across the web. Google also offers Meet unlimited calls Until March 2021.
Besides the group calling feature, Amazon also offers Some Alexa features that are specific to the United States. Echo Show 8 devices in the US now support joining video calls on Zoom and Amazon Chime using Alexa, and you can simply say “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting” to go to the calls. The captions for calls are available today on Echo Show devices, with nearly real-time captions for video, audio and English in the US.
Update, Dec 18 11 AM ET: The article has been updated with more US Alexa features available today.