Amazon In September it was announced that the Fire TV platform would offer video calling support. Today, the company says its Fire TV Cube (2nd generation) devices can now make two-way video calls. The new feature allows customers to pair a third-party webcam with their Fire TV Cube to make and receive video calls from their TVs to any other Alexa device with a screen.
That means customers can call other Alexa owners who have their own Fire TV Cube, an Echo device with a screen like the Echo Show, or even just the Alexa app installed on a smartphone or tablet.
According to Amazon, third-party video cameras must meet certain minimum requirements, including UVC support, 720p resolution, and 30 frames per second (fps). However, Amazon recommends using cameras with a resolution of 1080p and a field of view of 60 to 90 degrees (FOV) for a better experience. It does not recommend 4K webcams.
The company also says that having a field of view of six to ten feet from the TV will be a better experience, but no greater than 12 feet.
The webcams themselves are connected to the Fire TV Cube via a micro-USB-to-USB adapter.
Amazon recommends the Logitech C920, Logitech C922x, Logitech C310, Aukey PC-LM1E or Wansview 101JD webcams for anyone wanting to try out the new feature.
Once connected, users need to open the Alexa app on their phone to enable messaging and calling options, if they haven’t already, and import their contacts.
For example, to make a call, Alexa owners can say things like “Alexa, call Julie’s Echo”. You can then control the call experience with voice commands such as “Alexa, video on”, “Alexa, louder”, “Alexa, answer” and “Alexa, end call”.
Video chat support has been a key feature for smart screens like Amazon’s Echo Show. However, it makes sense to also bring video calling support to the big living room screen whenever possible. Unlike competitors in this area, however, Amazon does not have an ecosystem of communication apps that can be used here, such as Google Nest Hub Max with Google Meet and Duo or how Facebook Portal can reach family and friends on Facebook and WhatsApp . This could possibly limit the acceptance of the function, as the other user must also be connected to the Amazon ecosystem.
According to Amazon, the new Fire TV Cube feature, which enables support for two-way video calling, will be launched today.