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Voice Calls May Be Coming To the Amazon Echo and Google Home (theverge.com) 23

Amazon and Google are interested in adding the ability to make and receive phone calls to their popular home speaker devices -- Echo and Home, reports WSJ, adding that telecom regulations and privacy are some of the things both the companies are tackling. If the companies are able to sort out the issues, the feature could make way to the home speaker devices as soon as this year, the paper reported. From The Verge: There's also the fact that you would only make calls over speakerphone, which could limit the usefulness of the feature for some users. Theoretically, it would be easier for Google to get a phone service up and running on the Home, given that it's been operating Google Voice for seven years and launched Project Fi back in 2015, while Amazon has to start from scratch to get its phone service up and running. According to the Journal, Amazon is considering a number of different options, including syncing to the user's existing phone number, call forwarding, or the Echo getting its own phone number.
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Voice Calls May Be Coming To the Amazon Echo and Google Home

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  • Please insert six billion dollars for three minutes.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @02:35PM (#53875361)
    Great. Last I checked though, there were still no notifications on either. So if you wanted to have them alert you of an appointment or some other event, you had to ask them if it was time yet, they couldn't just talk at you. That seems like a bigger feature. I want a speaker that will tell my inconsiderate co-workers that someone else has signed up for some equipment they might be using in, say, ten minutes. If they can't check the calendar, they're not going to ask alexa if someone else is signed up. But a "Ding: get off the fucking machine within 5 minutes" might work.
  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @02:39PM (#53875389) Homepage
    This is a great idea that would assist both companies with obtaining additional personal information about their users. If only they can get past those pesky telecom privacy regulations. Both companies cannot currently be accused of not listening to their users, in their homes. Echo currently already has a mic / mute button to alert Amazon that you're about to talk about something especially interesting.
  • Why does it need such deep hooks? Why can't the Echo just be a paired BT device like my car and work as a mic/speaker?
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The deep hooks are the reason why. Total control, total power, it infects their minds like a disease. Which is why privacy rights and all the rules and regulations. Yep, those ass hats would abuse the hell out of it, if not constrained and constrained hard, they have already gone way too far and need to be regulated, audited and punished with major fines and custodial sentences. To climb the corporate ladder requires psychopathic tendencies, that lust for power and control, the ability to abuse at will all

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know if it's just me but this idea that people need two to three vectors to be contacted by voice is nonsense. I have a cell phone, call it. I don't need another device jingling in my ear when I'm already on my phone.

    • I have one number that reaches me. It uses cell voip and smoke signals if it needs to, it can pop up notification on my tv and a number of other screens I need another phone number like a whole in my head more devices that just work sure could be useful.

  • I have an amazon dot, but would buy a google home device instantly if I could use it as an endpoint for google voice calls.

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