A few weeks ago one of our readers asked – “How can I use Echo to call a land line?”
Well, it appears others have been asking the same question, including some of them in the Amazon think tank department! And it turns out the geeks at amazon have come up with something – the Echo Connect.
So what is it? Well basically its a small box that plugs into your phone line and gives your Echo access to the phone line via your Wi-fi network. Echo then uses the phone book on your linked mobile phone to enable you to either make a call by asking “Alexa, call Joe Bloggs” or “Alexa, call [number]”. It can either be used to call the emergency services – very handy if you physically cannot reach the phone.
The box doesn’t need to be on display and can be used in conjunction with standard telephones.
Priced at $34.99, its not to
o expensive and at current exchange rates would translate to around £25.99 although, as usual its unlikely to be a direct price conversion!
However, there’s a catch… It’s not available in the UK yet! The device was released within the US back in December 2017, and its not expected in the UK until “some time in 2018” leading some 3rd party vendors to sell it anyway in the UK with a highly increased price. We found one example on fruugo.co.uk for a staggering £91.99 (they did although include free postage!).
So why the delayed UK release? Well after many hours of research we certainly cannot find a reason why! There are however a few bug reports coming from the US. These include call breakups and a reported instance of Alexa continuing to ring after the land line has been answered physically. In this case the user had to physically reset their Echo device.
In summary, this looks like a great addition to the Amazon smart speaker lineup and adds the ability to turn any Echo into a speakerphone for what should be around £30. This also makes Echo’s very appealing to those with mobility issues and brings it one step further towards being a really useful addition to the office.
It’s a shame its just not widely available yet.