Turn your Amazon Echo into a DIY home intercom system

The new Alexa Calling & Messaging service turns every Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot into a voice telephone. The free service allows you to make telephone-like voice calls from your Alexa device to any other Alexa device in the world free of charge. There is no monthly fee, no per-minute fee, and no per-all fee. You can also use the just-updated Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone to do the same thing.

Of course, this a walled-garden system — every person you wish to call must also own an Amazon Echo device or be using the Amazon Alexa app on their smartphone. This has very interesting possibilities and when the video-enabled Amazon Show device starts shipping at the end of June, video calls will also be possible.

For me, there aren’t a lot of people I know with Amazon devices that I would want to reach this way. A regular phone call, text message, or email would be fine. However, since I do have multiple Amazon devices in my home (two Amazon Echos and five Amazon Dots), I though it would be really cool if I could use this new Alexa feature to create an in-home intercom system like the classic wall-mounted units that have been around since the ‘60s.

With a little experimentation, late night testing, and helpful assistance from Amazon tech support I now have a room-to-room intercom system using only my existing Amazon devices.

I have a write-up on the details of how to do it here.

Robert E. Spivack, SmartHome Technology Specialist: — I design, install, and retrofit home automation systems at DoItForMe.Solutions