You've been able to make calls from Amazon's Alexa devices for a while, and if you've got an Echo Show, you can make video calls too. Today, the firm announced the ability to make two-way video calls with a Fire TV Cube. Yes, it did specify two-way calling, so group chats are out.
The Fire TV Cube is something of a unique device because it's sort of a set-top box and an Echo combined. It's a Fire TV, with all of the streaming apps you want, but it also has far-field voice microphones built into it. For video calling, half of the capabilities are baked right into the product.
The other half you'll have to supply yourself, and that's the webcam. You need one that supports UVC with at least 720p resolution at 30fps, although it's recommended to use one that supports 1080p and has 60-90 degree field-of-view. Amazon does not recommend 4K webcams, or placing your webcam more than 12 feet away.
The firm does have a list of suggested webcams, not that this is a thorough list of what's supported:
If you've got a Fire TV Cube, than you already know that there's no USB Type-A port on the back, so you'll also need a USB Type-A to micro-USB adapter. Amazon has some of those to recommend as well:
The Fire TV Cube doesn't have a dedicated Ethernet port, so you might have been using the micro-USB port for that. If you were, you'll want to grab the last one on that list, which includes both USB Type-A and Ethernet ports.
To get started after you've got the hardware set up, you can go into the Alexa app, go to Devices, find your Fire TV Cube, and enable Communications and Drop In.
Update: Amazon reached out to us and said that an adapter from MakerSpot is no longer listed as compatible, so it has been removed.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.