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Voice activation for incoming calls

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Voice activation for incoming calls
« on: September 07, 2020, 02:57:09 pm »
Iím new to the forum, but I have a few questions about the best set up for my Mom who has MS and canít really use her hands anymore. Iíve read through a ton of stuff on the web, but no one seems to address incoming phone calls from non-Alexa numbers.

It seemed that using an Echo connect with an Echo devise would allow her to use her landline in conjunction with the voice activated answer feature, but it sounds as though ďtheyĒ are no longer making the Echo connect. Can anyone confirm this?

Can the stand alone Echo device allow her to receive phone calls from individuals who do not have the app? And if so, is there anyway to get her landline to ring through the Echo? Do I need to connect a cellphone service instead?

Has anyone out there come up with a slick hands free way for the disabled to not only call out, but receive phone calls from anyone that can be answered with Alexa? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Re: Voice activation for incoming calls
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2020, 12:43:54 pm »
I don't know why they are not making the Echo Connect any more; it's a very good device! I managed to get one on eBay and set it up for my 91-year-old visually impaired mother.

It works very well for outgoing calls and is not restricted to national non-prime numbers, as Alexa Calling is. Se can call her daughter in New Zealand, call the bank or, I like to joke, use sex lines :-).

The recipient sees her well-known landline number as the CallerID, not an obscure mobile phone number that only exists to control Alexa.

I set up her contacts using Google Contacts, so I can maintain them remotely. She can call them by name or say "Call the plumber" etc. 

For incoming calls, it works technically well, but she is not so comfortable with it. Alexa makes a ringing noise that sounds over the top of the telephones ringing but a few seconds delayed. Alexa then says "You have an incoming call from..." and names the caller if he/she is in the contacts, otherwise she reads out the whole number, all over the cacophany of the other phones still ringing. Alexa then does nothing. You are supposed to know that you have to say "Alexa, answer call" at this point. If you do, it's fine. However Mum always forgets and just tries to talk to the caller, who is not even connected yet.

In practice, Mum now just picks up the cordless phone, which automatically connects (she does not have to operate any buttons on it).

Echo connect would be a good idea for a fully blind person who cannot answer a physical phone at all. In that case you do not need any other phones to be ringing.

If Amazon resurrects the device, I suggest it should answer the phone immediately, like a receptionist, so all other phones stop ringing. It would be great if she could mute the TV too, but that's for another posting! Alexa could put the caller on hold while she asks whether the recipient wants to take the call. She should say who is calling if known (but not bother reading out the number otherwise), or even ask the called who he/she is. Alexa should then specifically ask the recipient "do you want to take the call? The recipient can just answer yes or no. If she says no, or is not there, Alexa can tell the caller she is not available. Not beyond 21C technology is it?