This will be important for replacing landline phones with VoIP devices
Amazon’s lineup of Echo devices, including the Echo Show that was announced earlier this week with a 7-inch touchscreen display for $230, all include VoIP-based calling support but can’t give people the simple ability to block unwanted calls.
Reports sa, there is no way to block contacts from attempting to call devices over the Alexa calling and messaging app. This gives telemarketers, spam dialers, call bots, and unwanted human callers access into the user’s home or work environment in a way that cannot be stopped by traditional blocking mechanisms.
There is also no way to disable the Alexa calling service once the service has been configured with a user’s phone number. Users need to call Amazon’s customer service and request that the feature be deactivated from their account. The only workaround is to disable the company’s calling service completely or enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature to achieve the same result.
Amazon Echo has big potential to change home phone market
For household calling, devices like the Amazon Echo Show have the game changing potential to finally replace the declining breed of landline phones used in households worldwide. In the US alone, the year 2015 marked a fundamental shift that saw cellular-only use finally eclipse traditional telephone services by a small margin. As of today, that margin has climbed to least five percent, showing little reason not to believe that traditional phone service could lose any relevance soon.
This is where companies like Amazon have a real chance to offer an alternative in the form of VoIP-based video and messaging services like Alexa. But in order to succeed, the company will need to match or exceed the abilities of existing federal “Do Not Call” regulations, along with native smartphone blocking features and the VoIP-based apps that block unwanted spam calls through spam analysis and network-level monitoring techniques.
Consumers continue to purchase Amazon Echo devices at a rapid pace, eclipsing 8.2 million as of January. This opens up the potential for hundreds of thousands of homes to adopt VoIP calling services like Alexa as a substitute for landline service. But in order to convince a majority of the world that Echo devices are a suitable addition to cellular-only service, the company will need to substantially build up its Alexa developer team to offer priority bug fixes and bring users a robust communications platform that not only rivals Skype, WhatsApp and Messenger, but encourages landline service replacement in the process.