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New Video – Using Echo As A Baby Monitor

I’ve just published a new YouTube video to accompany my ‘Using Amazon Echo As A Baby Monitor (But Is It Worth It?)‘ guide. As you can probably guess, it covers using Echo devices as a makeshift baby monitor. Please check it out below:

Video Transcript

Hey YouTube, it’s Tristan from Smart Home Point.

If you found out you’re gonna have a child then congratulations! I’m sure the first question you’re gonna ask yourself is: can you use Echo devices as a makeshift baby monitor? I’m sure that’s the first question you’re gonna be asking yourself..! Right so as it turns out, yes you can. You can basically have one Echo as a baby monitor – as a listening device – and then another one as a receiving device. So in essence the microphone of this one can transmit to the speaker on this one. There’s two main ways you can do this. You can use the calling feature so your baby monitor device calls your receiver device and then you can listen on whether your baby’s crying that way, or you can use the ‘drop in’ feature which is where your echo device – or even a mobile phone with the Alexa app- will drop in on the baby monitor and listen to audio that way. The calling feature is a two-way thing, whilst the drop in feature is a one-way thing. Uhh, let’s have a look at these methods.

Okay, so we’ll start off by launching the Amazon Alexa app. Once we’re there there’s a few things we need to check. The first thing we’re going to do is go to the Communication tab at the bottom… or communicate tab… on there we want to click on ‘drop in’ – just click there and in my case drop in is not currently enabled so we’ll want to follow the instructions and go to my communication settings. Once there we’ll want to go to the ‘Allow drop in’, and basically this enables dropping in on an Echo device and listening to its audio from any device that’s registered on this account. So we’ll click on the little toggle here and then you get warning – or message – just saying what this does. So we want to click okay… let’s do that now… and that’s now enabled. So we’ll click on back. Obviously if now we click on drop in, what actually happen is we can drop in on a certain device which is quite key here because we’re going to be using the ‘Kitchen Dot’ as baby monitor… I’ll rename that in a second to make a clearer. Right next thing we want to do is go to devices. So let’s go to our ‘Kitchen Dot’, I’m just going to quickly rename that to say ‘Baby Monitor’ but that doesn’t really matter obviously for these purposes. Right so the main thing we want to do first is go to the device which will be our baby monitor, and scroll down until we see communication. Now you can see that it says enabled, let’s actually click on it because there’s two things we need to check. You firstly… we need to check that ‘calling & messaging’ is enabled, which obviously it is, and the second thing we need to check is that drop in is enabled which again it is. Now, these are enabled by default when you add a new Echo device, but it’s worth just double checking these are on otherwise this method won’t actually work. Okay that’s great, the next thing we want to do is go into the device we’ll be using as the receiver which in this case will be my ‘Living room dot’, so again scroll down to communication which again says enabled and we just double check that both drop-in and calling is enabled – which it is. Okay so that’s everything set up and literally we’re ready to go, so let’s try this out now.

Okay so for this first method what we want to do is if this is our baby monitor Echo, once we’re done putting our child to sleep, as we leave the room we want to start a video call and then we want to answer that video call in our receiver Echo and that way this any audio from here – in other words the baby crying or stirring – can be picked up on the other Echo. So the first thing we want to do is turn down the volume on this Echo because you don’t want your voice – you know anything you’re said on the other Echo – you don’t want it playing here really loudly and waking up your child. Okay so let’s get started. “[Alexa], call my Master bedroom Echo”. “[Alexa], answer the call”. [Baby crying sound].

So this second method is easier than the first: you can just drop in on your baby monitor Echo, you don’t actually need to run between different Echos to set up a voice call. So for this method I’ll literally say “[Alexa], drop in on my baby monitor”. [Baby crying sound]. “[Alexa], stop”. And as you can see, that method is super easy – you literally connect straight to it with an Echo in another room and get all the audio played. Uhh, I haven’t actually got a baby crying, I’ve literally just got a sound of a baby crying, so don’t worry! But as you can see this method is really easy to do, it’s easier than the first and it’s the one I would use if I was to use my Echos as a baby monitor.

The final thing to cover is if you’re not in your house, you obviously can’t use your Echo devices to do drop in or call features, or kick those off. But what you can do is do this with the Amazon Alexa app. So firstly make sure you got internet on your app via mobile data or someone else’s Wi-Fi, and then launch the Amazon Alexa app. We want to go to ‘Communicate’, and then ‘drop in’ and then select the device we’re going to drop in on. So let’s do that now. [Baby crying sounds]. Okay as you can see that works really well, the drop in feature is just like a video call, it’s just like calling up your Echo and then you can hear the audio from it. The Echo device will have a green ring around it, that’s just a privacy feature to make sure that anyone in the house – such as a child minder or someone looking after your child – can actually see that that Echo is listening in, and as you can see it works really well.

Okay thanks for watching this video, I hope you enjoyed it. As you can see, you can use an Echo device in your nursery as a listening device and then you can drop into it with another Echo or with the Alexa app. All of these methods work fairly well, although to be honest I just use a simple baby monitor. I think it cost me 40 pounds which is around fifty or sixty dollars. It’s a video one, it’s really good for audio as well – it’s really sensitive – and it’s got night vision as well, so you get a lot of benefit from an actual dedicated baby monitor compared to an Echo. But having said that, if you’ve got an Echo in your nursery anyway, then being able to use the drop in feature is really convenient because it’s really easy to do. I hope you enjoyed this video, if you did please click the thumbs up button and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you!

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

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