Most USB webcams are supported, but there are a few catches.
The update is limited to the second-generation model of the Fire TV Cube. It will initially be available to users in the US, UK, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Amazon Puts Your Loved Ones on the Big Screen
A post on the Fire TV Blog outlines how to set up and use the new service. You’ll need a USB webcam with a resolution of 720p, though 1080p is recommended (and 4K isn’t). The webcam will also need to support USB video class (UVC) and be at least 30fps.
Once you’ve found a compatible webcam, there are still a few steps before you can start calling people. Almost all webcams use standard USB-A connectors, while the Fire TV Cube only has a Micro USB port. While Micro USB webcams do exist, it’s much more convenient to get a USB Type-A to Micro USB converter.
Handily, Amazon provides a list of compatible webcams and converters, though it’s far from comprehensive and most modern webcams should work:
- Logitech C920
- Logitech C922x
- Logitech C310
- Aukey PC-LM1E
- Wansview 101JD
Once connected, you should see a message saying that the connected webcam can be used for video.
Alexa Becomes a Video Calling App
The new software update supports importing your contact list via the Alexa app, as well as adding support for Drop In – Amazon’s Alexa based intercom service. Once everything is set up, you can start video conversations with any other Alexa device using familiar voice commands:
“Alexa, Call Julie’s Echo”
The new features also add the Fire TV cube to the list of devices able to make phone calls to landlines and mobile phones. Two-way audio calling is available from today, but the video software update will roll out to users in supported regions over the coming weeks.
Even More Alexa Integration
This addition will be a welcome one for Fire TV Cube users, who recently also got support for Alexa Routines on their devices. While finding a compatible webcam and converter might be a little work, adding this functionality to a device that wasn’t designed for it shows how hard Amazon is working to spread its services equally across all of its devices.
Of Amazon’s range of Alexa-powered devices, the latest is the Fire TV Cube. Here’s what to know about the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
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