When Amazon launched its Echo Spot and Show devices, it caused certain raised eyebrows. Providing video capabilities to its Alexa AI was definitely an important selling point, however, was watching videos all that the screens Spot and Show carried, good for? Amazon hinted that the screens would support a wider range of uses, and it has now confirmed the same by adding Skype support to the devices.
The experience has not been limited to Echo Spot and Show. In fact, all of Alexa supported devices including Dot and Tap will now be able to make calls through Skype.
On Spot and Show however, you will get the complete experience with video enabled. As an added bonus, you can load up your Skype with credits and then use your smart speaker to make calls to any phone number across the globe — all thanks to the Skype skill.
Meanwhile, this announcement comes as something of a setback for Facebook. The company’s recently launched Portal devices were built around the idea of offering a standalone video/voice calling device to the masses. The calling feature was practically the biggest USP of the Portal devices, thanks to the social media network’s robust voice/video calling systems. Amazon and Microsoft/Skype’s partnership however, has the potential to disrupt Facebook’s plans.
Skype is one of the most used platforms when it comes to video/VOIP calls. And Amazon is the market leader in the smart speaker domain. The two coming together is definitely bad news for Facebook, and others who were thinking of launching a product on similar lines.
You can set up the feature through the Alexa app, and calling people is as simple as saying “Alexa, Skype Sam”. Assuming of course, that Sam is someone on your Skype contacts list.