The num­ber Alexa can’t dial

The Week (US) - - 18 News -

Ama­zon’s Echo and other smart speak­ers can make calls for you, said Sarah Krouse in The Wall Street Jour­nal, but there’s one num­ber they can’t dial: 911. Google Home and Ama­zon Echo de­vices are now in­stalled in 20 mil­lion U.S. homes, and call­ing emer­gency ser­vices seems to be a nat­u­ral use. But there are “reg­u­la­tory and tech­ni­cal rea­sons” that the de­vices can’t con­tact emer­gency ser­vices. One is fi­nan­cial: De­vices that can call 911 are sub­ject to a monthly reg­u­la­tory fee, which varies by state and ranges from 25 cents to $3. Charges for emer­gency call but­tons de­signed for the el­derly are much greater, about $40 a month.

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