Alexa Smart Properties enables audio and video calling between Echo and non-Echo devices with WebRTC

Paul Socha Jul 10, 2023
Alexa Skills

Alexa Smart Properties (ASP) recently announced support for WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication)-based audio and video calling on all ASP-compatible Echo devices. With this launch, properties have more ways for staff and guests to access seamless peer-to-peer communication by being able to conduct video and audio calls between Echo devices and non-Echo devices such as tablets and laptops.

ASP enables enterprise customers in multiple industry verticals such as healthcare, hospitality, and senior living to deliver ambient, voice-driven experiences that make stays more personalized and satisfying. With Alexa, properties can streamline operational processes to free staff from repetitive tasks, improving their productivity and job satisfaction. They can configure and manage Alexa devices at scale throughout their properties, including device setup, managing settings, and monitoring usage. Additionally, they can curate custom voice experiences for their patients or guests, such as supplying property or local area information, managing smart home devices, and facilitating access to property services and amenities.

Support for WebRTC on Alexa devices

WebRTC is an open-source technology that facilitates real-time communication between web browsers or applications. It enables audio, video, and data communication without requiring plugins or additional software. WebRTC employs a blend of standardized web APIs, such as JavaScript APIs, and communication protocols like RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) and SRTP (Secure Real-time Transport Protocol) to facilitate real-time communication.

With ASP's support for WebRTC, properties can set up contacts as WebRTC contact types through built-in address books and contact systems. By doing this, they can enable audio and video calling between Alexa devices and external devices such as mobile phones, tablets, or computers.

Benefits for facilities in multiple verticals

The new WebRTC APIs equip ASP developers, integrators, and solution providers with the means to build and support video calling use cases across all verticals within ASP, including healthcare, senior living, and hospitality. Here are a few use cases:

  • Healthcare: WebRTC support offers even more ways for medical staff to virtually check in with patients, including telehealth. This enhanced virtual check-in capability from any device to the Echo device in the patient's room saves the time and personal protective equipment (PPE) resources needed for in-patient check-ins, in addition to making care teams more easily accessible to patients. Working with providers to provide the capability of placing off-site video calls with inpatient rooms avoids the need for additional equipment in those rooms. In addition, patients can also stay connected with their loved ones, thus boosting their morale and improving their quality of life.
  • Senior Living: ASP's WebRTC capabilities can enhance staff-resident interactions and support video check-ins. In addition, residents can effortlessly connect with their family members through simple voice commands such as "Alexa, call my grandson." With WebRTC, properties can build calling into their custom apps.
  • Hospitality: WebRTC support can enhance the guest experience with possibilities such as a virtual concierge service via video calling.

ASP's WebRTC support promises to open new avenues for enhanced communication and interaction, thus enabling properties to better connect and engage their tenants/guests.

Contact the Alexa Smart Properties team to learn more about offering voice-enabled experiences powered by ASP. Learn how to enable WebRTC at your property by reviewing the technical documents.

Recommended Reading

Alexa Smart Properties: How to easily get started with WebRTC
Alexa Smart Properties: WebRTC skill code and deployment
Alexa Smart Properties: Enabling WebRTC in property rooms