The number Alexa can’t dial
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.