Older adults and their families can greatly benefit from the Drop In Skill used through Amazon’s Echo Show.
In order to use Alexa’s amazing drop in feature…
Enable it in the Alexa app by going to ‘Communications’ > ‘Drop In’ and selecting permitted contacts. Then, say “Alexa, drop in on [contact name]” to start an instant conversation with an Echo device or Alexa app user.
The drop in feature can be used by any Alexa device but I personally prefer to use the Echo Show device for the drop in feature simply because it gives me video in addition to audio.
It allows you to instantly connect to another person’s Alexa device – acting like an intercom.
The person you are connecting to must have given you permission to do so at first, and then you can “drop in” on them.
They do not have to answer in order for you to drop in.
This can be a wonderful way for children of aging parents to monitor their senior loved ones and also to check in on them.
Of course, permission has to be initially given but then – it’s just a matter of activating the skill and when and if needed it can also be de-activated, of course.
How To Set Up Alexa’s Drop In Feature
Just follow these instructions below to set up this skill.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner (the 3 short horizontal lines)
- In the dropdown box tap on “Skills & Games”
- Tap on the magnifying glass on the top right of the screen
- Type in “calling and messaging” to search for this skill
- Tap on the Enable Skill button
- You will be asked to agree to their terms of service and to allow this program to access your contact list
- You then need to tap on the Communication Icon at the bottom of the Alexa app on your phone
- You then need to confirm your name, enable access to your contact list that is on your phone, verify your phone number via a text and allow Alexa to use your microphone and camera (if you haven’t already done that)
- Now tap on the profile icon at the top right of your Alexa app on your phone
- Your name should pop up with “My Profile & Settings” below it. Tap on your name.
- Enable the Allow Drop In option
- Now you are set up to receive Drop Ins. To drop in on other Alexa devices, then they need to allow permissions just as you did for your.
Can Alexa Drop In On Another House?
Yes, absolutely! Once the other house (or houses for that matter) has given you permission to Drop In via their Alexa app on their phone – you are set and ready to go.
Simply say “Alexa, drop in on (name of your contact)”
Alexa will connect you to the device that they gave the permission to.
Once you are finished, just say “Alexa, hang up.”
When you receive a Drop In call – you will hear a chime from your Alexa device and then you will be able to hear and/or see the person who is dropping in.
Pretty cool, right?
Can Alexa Drop In On Other Locations In The Same House?
Yes, absolutely. Just the same way that you can drop in on other locations outside, you can also connect to other Alexa products within the same home.
This works very much like an Intercom system.
To use it simply say “Alexa, drop in on all devices” if you want to drop in on every Alexa device in your home.
But if you want to drop in on a specific device like the garage, just say “Alexa, drop in on the garage.” That’s if you named the device in the garage that same word.
Privacy and Security Consideration
When using the Alexa Drop In feature, it’s crucial to be aware of its implications for privacy and security.
This section of the article will delve into how users can manage these aspects effectively.
Customizing Privacy Settings
- Selective Contact Permissions: Guide users on how to choose which contacts are allowed to use Drop In with them. Emphasize the importance of limiting this feature to trusted individuals.
- Disabling Drop In: Explain how users can temporarily or permanently disable the Drop In feature for times when privacy is a priority.
- Device-Specific Permissions: Discuss how to enable or disable Drop In on individual Echo devices, allowing for more control over where and when someone can drop in.
Understanding Drop In Permissions
- Default Settings: Describe the default privacy settings of Drop In and what users should be aware of upon first use.
- Household Access: Clarify how Drop In works within the same household, especially with multiple Echo devices, and how to manage intra-household privacy.
- Notifications and Indicators: Explain how Alexa notifies users when a Drop In is starting and the visual/audio indicators that a Drop In is in progress, ensuring users are always aware when they are in a live Drop In session.
Managing Unexpected Drop Ins
- Immediate Actions: Provide steps on what to do if an unexpected or unwanted Drop In occurs, including how to quickly end the session.
- Reviewing Access Settings: Encourage regular reviews of Drop In settings to ensure that only current, trusted contacts have access.
Security of Conversations
- Encryption and Data Security: Briefly touch on how Amazon handles encryption and data security for Drop In conversations, reassuring users about the protection of their communications.
Educating Household Members
- Awareness for All Users: Stress the importance of educating everyone in the household, especially children, about the privacy aspects of Drop In to prevent accidental or unauthorized use.
By addressing these privacy and security considerations, the article will help users feel more confident and in control when using the Alexa Drop In feature, ensuring a balance between convenience and privacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Echo Show Without A Smartphone?
Well, I can tell you that to set up the Echo Show you need a smartphone that has the Alexa app on it – but you do not need the smartphone to continue using the Echo Show (or any Alexa device for that matter). So, if you know someone who has a smartphone, they can download the Alexa app and use it to set up your Echo Show. However, if your WiFi goes down or if there are any other issues with the connection or the device, you will need that smartphone to set it up again.
Can you drop in more than one person on Alexa?
Yes, you can drop in on more than one person on Alexa if you are using multiple Echo devices. Amazon has made it possible to drop in on multiple Echo devices at once with the introduction of the Group Chat feature. This feature allows you to drop in on all the devices in your home with a single command, effectively using your Echo devices as an intercom system.
Are Alexa devices allowed in nursing homes?
Whether Alexa devices are allowed in nursing homes or other care facilities depends on the specific policies of the institution. Some nursing homes may allow residents to use Alexa devices, as these devices can provide assistance with tasks and offer entertainment. However, others may have restrictions due to concerns about privacy, security, noise levels, or other factors.