Amazon continues to expand its Echo line of smart speakers to cater to different consumers. But with nine variants to choose from, it’s becoming difficult to distinguish one from the other in terms of features.
Essentially, they are all powered by Amazon’s voice-activated assistant Alexa and respond to the same wake word and commands.
Of all the variants, the Echo Spot has an interesting design factor because it looks like an alarm clock—this is because Amazon designed it to look and function as a digital alarm clock but with tons of other features.
The Echo Spot has a touch screen just like the Echo Show so you can interact with it through the tiny 2.5-inch circular screen if you don’t feel like voicing a command.
With the screen and camera, the Echo Spot is more than just a modern alarm clock. You can practically play videos, listen to music, make a voice call, send a message, and do video chat. So even if you don’t use an alarm clock, you might be compelled to get the Spot for its other smart functions.
Because there’s a display screen, it’s much easier to control smart home devices. This means that your smart alarm clock can also be used to control lights, locks and any device that can be controlled using an Alexa command.
Can Echo Spot camera be viewed remotely?
With the display screen, the Echo Spot can show live feeds from security cameras and smart doorbells that are compatible with Alexa. The little camera at the top of the speaker is there so that you can make video calls with friends who are also Echo Spot owners.
With such powerful features, many users are curious to know if the camera can be viewed remotely from another device. The answer is yes, you can actually view your Echo Spot camera through another device that supports the Alexa app.
This can be done through the Drop In feature. When enabled, this feature allows you to drop in unannounced onto someone else’s Echo device and vice versa. This is similar to an intercom, so the other person on the other end does not need to pick up the call. You can just appear instantly on the screen. On the flip side, when other people drop in on your device, they can hear and see you even if you don’t want to interact.
Keep in mind that for Drop In to happen, you must enable specific users within your network and those users must also allow you to drop in on their Alexa-enabled devices.
While it may lead to privacy concerns or people dropping in when you don’t want them to, you can take comfort in the fact that you can set scheduled time if you don’t want to be disturbed. Also, you have to be mindful of the time as well so that you don’t drop in at inappropriate times.
The Drop In feature only works for Echo Spot and Echo Show because they are the only Echo devices with camera and big enough screen display. It’s not going to work on your Kindle Fire Tablet or iPad.
Because of the Drop In feature, the Echo Spot can be a voice-activated home camera with remote viewing.
How to set up Drop- In
- Download the Alexa app on your smartphone (iOS or Android). Make sure that you are using the latest version.
- By default, your device should have set up Alex calling and messaging when you have the latest version. If it’s not set up, tap on the speech bubble icon or the Conversations icon and it will set it up.
- Go to Settings and choose all the devices that you want to allow to drop in on your Echo Spot device. These are people that you allow to drop in. It’s safe to keep this to family and friends to avoid privacy issues.
- Go to General and tap on Drop In. This will give you three options:
On – This allows any contact that you grant permission to drop in.
Only my household – This allows people within your household to drop in.
Off – This disables the Drop In feature.
- By default, Drop In is not allowed from any contacts until you manually select each person that you want to be able to drop in. To do this, go to the Conversations icon and then tap the person icon to get to the Contacts list. Select the contact you want to allow and then toggle Allow Drop In.
- If you want to drop in on a friend’s Echo Spot, the command is, “Alexa, drop in on…” and then say the contact’s name. This only works if you are allowed to drop in.
- Since you can drop in on your own Echo devices, you can view different sections of your house where the devices are placed. Examples of commands are: “Alexa, drop in on my kitchen Echo Spot.” or “Alexa drop in on my bedroom Echo Spot.”
- To end the Drop In, say, “Alexa, end call” if you’re using the device or simply tap on the hang up button if you’re using the Alexa app.
So if you want to view your Echo Spot remotely from another location, you can do so by letting the device allow you to drop in. For example, if you want to quickly check what your dog is up to, position the device where it can have a good view of your dog.
Ask Alexa to drop in on the specific room and you can instantly see what’s happening either from the Echo device or from the Alexa app. You can also do this to check in on your kids and interact with them wherever you are.
Of course, the Echo Spot is not meant to be a dedicated security camera or a spy camera, but it works quite well if you just want a quick check on your family members and pets when you’re in another room or outside of the house. Not bad for a smart alarm clock.