Google, Amazon To Add Voice Calling Functionality To Devices
By Victor Ernest
Google and Amazon are planning to add a voice-calling functionality to Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers respectively.
According to Gadget360 post, the functionality will turn the voice-activated speakers into home phone which might come with some complications.
The post stated that the companies are ready to launch the service this year, adding that the plans were reportedly stalled due to concerns over user privacy and telecom regulations.
Wall Street Journal said in a report citing sources close to the programme that, allowing Google Home or Amazon Echo to place phone calls is the next logical step for the AI-powered smart home devices.
The journal stated that one of the major concerns over rolling out the feature is ‘users’ anxiety over conversations being recorded.
”Even though smart speakers from both Amazon and Google already locally record audio continuously before replacing it with the new audio files after hearing their activation word, users might not be as comfortable when their telephonic conversations are recorded in cloud,” the journal explained.
The smart speakers are likely to get the ability to call through VoIP (voice over internet protocol) like Microsoft Skype.
Amazon is said to be considering options such as providing the smart speaker with its own number with a call forwarding feature to allow smartphones to take their calls remotely and vice versa.
Another option can allow users to sync their existing phone number and contacts with the Echo smart speaker.