AT&T announced on Thursday it’s launching a new skill on Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices that lets you send hands-free text messages. Starting today, Amazon’s Alexa-powered device can send messages for you and send them to a list of contacts that have been pre-programmed. To get started, all you need to do is say “Alexa, ask AT&T to text (name), and the assistant will create your message.
“Amazon Echo is ahead of the curve in terms of voice recognition technology and functionality,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Device and Network Services Marketing. “AT&T is the first carrier to bring this unique skill to a product already known for innovation. We’re always working to bring simple solutions for our customers to stay in touch. In the tradition of NumberSync, another solution that was introduced at AT&T first, the Send Message Skill gives our customers another easy and convenient way to communicate.”
Skills are voice-driven capabilities that chance the Alexa devices, including Amazon Echo and Dot. Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, which can play music, and provide news, sports scores, weather and now AT&T’s hands-free Send Message skill.
The feature does have some limitations. A good example, you can only send messages up to ten contacts, which you’ll need to pre-program through the Alexa app for smartphones. You’ll also need to have the right device and plan.
If you don’t have an Amazon speaker, you can buy the Echo or Echo Dot directly from AT&T’s website for the new Alexa feature. Amazon Echo is available for $179 and Echo Dot can be purchased for $49.