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Amazon Key now available across the US

07 April 2018

It is a bit similar to the Drop In feature that lets a user connect instantly to another Echo device and communicate with whomever is within earshot of that particular Amazon Echo device.

According to the company, the feature "enables users to make one-way announcements to all of the Echo devices in their house", acting as a one-way intercom. And it won't be Alexa telling them, the user's own voice will be the one heard over the Echo speakers.

Aside from the usual audio tricks - answering questions, playing music requests, and so on - Alexa on Fire tablets will also visual content with some of its responses. If you're trying to concentrate and want everyone to shush, say "Everyone be quiet" and it will be accompanied by a ssshhhh sound.

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So, for example, if you're preparing dinner for the whole family, an announcement could summon everyone to the dining room.

It is a sweet feature for households that have not yet bought a second Echo speaker.

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Amazon did clarify that, as of right now, Alexa Announcements will only be rolling out to US and Canadian customers. "Alexa, tell everyone..." and "Alexa, broadcast..." followed by your message.

Alexa Announcements rolls out in the U.S. and Canada today and although there's no word on when it will be introduced to other territories, it would be surprising if it didn't eventually.

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Amazon Key now available across the US