Alexa Meets Intercom: New Echo Feature Is Best Yet

In our two-story home we usually communicate in one of two ways if we're on different floors or just far apart from each other: 1) Yell or 2) Use the Zello walkie-talkie app.

But now there's a better alternative.

Amazon just announced the new Alexa Announcements feature, which lets you make one-way announcements to all the Echo devices in your house. So if you have an Echo Show in one room, Echo Dots in other rooms and maybe an Echo Spot in another, whatever you say will be broadcast everywhere at the same time.

Before I moved to my abode a few years ago, I actually looked at some houses that had old-school intercom systems, and I liked the idea of it. But with this handy skill, I no longer need to regret passing on those homes.

Amazon Echo Dot

Here's how it works. All you need to do is say something like, "Alexa, announce that dinner is ready," and the "Dinner is ready" part will be announced to your family members. Other options include saying "Alexa, tell everyone..." and "Alexa, broadcast..."

As a father of two, I can see using Alexa Announcements for things like "OK, guys, time to brush your teeth" or "Please do your chores." I would just hope that my kids didn't take advantage of the feature to answer back "Nah."

Amazon says that Alexa Announcements is rolling out now in the U.S. and Canada.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.