Both Google and Amazon are reportedly working on technology that would enable Echo and Home owners to use the smart speakers as home telephones.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the tech giants are seeking to integrate tech that would make it possible to make and receive calls.
The WSJ’s ‘people familiar with the matter’ claim the tech could be introduced this year.
Related: Google Home review
The idea seems to be to make use of both firm’s communication platforms. Google has Voice, Hangouts, Allo and Duo (at last count) and Amazon just introduced a video chat app called Chime.
The report says the Home and Echo speakers could even have their own VoIP phone numbers, that would essentially replace the user’s landline in many cases.
There’d also be the opportunity to sync an existing number (such as Google Voice, perhaps) and a contacts list to the speakers.
The multi-directional microphones on both devices would enable users to hold conversations from multiple locations in the room without the need to carry a phone around with them.
The biggest (only?) hurdle to making this happen, according to the WSJ report, are the ancient telephone regulations and the challenges of connecting VoIP platforms to the emergency services.
All that being said, anyone with an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker in their house probably jibbed a home phone years ago.
Have you snapped up an Echo since it landed in the UK? Or are you waiting to see what Google Home has to offer? Drop us a line below.