Remember landline house phones? Those things stuck on your wall that could pretty much only make and receive calls and didn’t have an app store? Well, they might be making a return in a very unexpected way.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that both Amazon and Google are working on building voice calling functionality into their assistants, Google Home and the Amazon Echo, respectively. That would essentially turn the connected speakers into a house phone, only tied to your Google/Amazon account instead of a phone number. It would also rely on an internet connection instead of a connection to a carrier, obviously, which isn’t too much of a stretch from many services we already have.
Google Hangouts already offers voice calling, and Google has their own Voice service for all your VoIP needs. There are tons of alternatives, too, like Skype, so this isn’t exactly some fancy new technology. It’s simply taking an old, existing tech and service and repurposing it into a new use case.
This isn’t something set in stone, and there are definitely some pain points to figure out before this becomes an actual feature. You probably don’t want all of your calls to happen over speakerphone, for example, and there’s no way to end a call via Google Home since the whole point is to not have any buttons. Amazon also doesn’t offer any kind of voice calling solution, whereas Google has two potential services, so there’s a ton of muddy information here.
This will more than likely become more concrete over the next few months, so keep your ears out for new info. Or, if you’re like me, just keep sending text messages because I haven’t willingly made a phone call since 2012. Either way.
source: Wall Street Journal