It appears like Amazon and Google are in plans to make their smart speakers act as standalone devices by letting them make and receive phone calls. Going by a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, these companies are in plans to bring the voice calling functionality to Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers.
With this feature added to them, these smart speakers from Google and Amazon will get the ability to respond to the voice commands. This way, these devices will get the most requested functionality by the users. The report added that the voice calling ability might be brought to these smart speakers by this year's end.
It appears like Google and Amazon are concerned about a few aspects such as access to emergency services, user experience, telecom regulations and privacy. Notably, the Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers record audio continuously in order to enable AI responses. This makes the two companies concerned if the users will want to speak to a device that can record their conversations. The Amazon Echo goes a step higher by storing the dialed numbers and the duration of each call rather than the actual conversations.
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The report likely claims that Google Home and Amazon Echo might use VoIP for the purpose. It is alleged that these speakers might be able to access a third-party VoIP system like Skype to make use of the calling feature.