Amazon just announced Echo Connect, a new Alexa accessory that turns any Amazon Echo into a voice-controlled speakerphone using your home phone service. The $35 gadget works with either landline or VoIP, but is completely unnecessary if you already have a mobile phone. That’s because Alexa hands-free calling offers the same functionality without it by syncing up your mobile phone. Echo Connect merely functions as a wireless bridge from your landline to your Echo for voice calls.
Echo Connect connects to your home Wi-Fi network and home phone jack or VoIP adapter. Then it is configurable via the the Alexa app on your mobile phone to set up. But if you already have a mobile phone, why do you need it? In any case, Alexa then becomes your personal call attendant. Even if you’re across the room Echo’s far-field microphones are expected to be sufficient to make your voice sound clear.
Alexa hands-free calling lets you call anybody from your contact list as well as receive calls. When someone you know calls your home phone, Alexa will announce their name from your contacts list. Then you can just ask Alexa to answer to start the conversation. On outgoing calls, rest assured your home phone number will appear on the recipients caller ID as usual.