The Amazon Echo or the Google Home smart speakers could soon be seen replacing your phone as well if recent rumors on this are to be believed. However, things could still be some way off given that such a makeover for the smart speakers are likely to run into privacy issues or telecom regulatory restrictions.
That said, the phone calling feature might still make it to the speakers by the end of the year itself. Both the devices are designed to respond to voice commands and can answer or pull off a variety of tasks. Enabling them to make or receive a phone call will no doubt further add to their appeal as instead of dialing a number, you might just have to tell Echo or Google Home to call someone. No wonder a successful implementation of such a feature might also make the landline phones of your redundant.
There are still privacy concerns that need to be dealt with as both the speaker record all that is spoken to it. Amazon though is reported to have revealed they won’t be recording the actual conversation but will keep a tab on the duration of such conversations as well as the numbers dialed.
Calling emergency services such as 911 using the smart speakers could be another issue. That’s because most online calling services don’t allow such calls to be made.
The technology to be used to introduce voice calling to the speakers is also not known though VoIP could be an option. Currently, applications such as Skype or the just launched Amazon Chime rely on VoIP to make internet calling.
Or maybe Amazon will allot a distinct phone number to the Echo speakers and use call forwarding. Another option Amazon could be exploring, is to sync with the smartphone already in use by the owner. Worth mentioning, making the Echo speakers to also work as a landline is something that Amazon has been dabbling with since 2015.
However, getting past telecom regulatory obstacles could still be a challenge which does make the projected launch schedule of around end-2017 a bit too optimistic.