Google Home and Amazon Echo May Soon Support Voice Calls

BY Evan Selleck

Published 15 Feb 2017

The smart speaker systems from Amazon and Google are already feature-rich, but a new report indicates both could be getting a new one.

The Wall Street Journal reports that both Amazon and Google are working on bringing phone call functionality to the smart speakers. But they are both being held up by a series of issues, namely telecommunications regulations, emergency services, and privacy:

“The tech giants could launch the feature this year, the people said — but the effort is hung up over concerns about privacy, telecom regulations and emergency services. And they are aware of the inherent awkwardness of having phone conversations on a speaker.”

Amazon, for its part, has a few more obstacles, including the fact it doesn’t own the operating systems Echo would be connecting to. However, the company is looking into other options, too, including call forwarding, or even using a virtual number to get around these issues.

What do you think of the idea?

[via The Wall Street Journal]