Amazon has added the ability to place and receive two-way video calls on the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. The capability was briefly mentioned earlier this year at Amazon’s new devices event and now it has arrived. By connecting a USB webcam to the Fire TV Cube, you can have an Alexa video call with any other Fire TV Cube 2 or an Alexa-enabled device with a screen, like the Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show 10. Video calls with a Fire TV Cube can also be placed to and received from anyone with a phone or tablet through the Alexa App.
To use the new feature you’ll need a webcam that is compatible with the USB Video Class (UVC), which most webcams are. Amazon says the camera needs to have a resolution of at least 720p and 30 fps, but recommends a 1080p camera with a 60-90 degree field of view (FOV) for the best experience. Use of a 4K webcam is not recommended. A few webcams that Amazon recommends for use with the Fire TV Cube are the Logitech C920 (1080p, $100), Logitech C922x (1080p, $120), Logitech C310 (720p, $50), Aukey PC-LM1E (1080p, $50), and Wansview 101JD (1080p, $25).
Since the Fire TV only has a micro USB port, you’ll also need a micro USB to Full USB OTG adapter in order to connect the USB camera. Any OTG cable should work, but a few that Amazon recommends are these from StarTech, UGREEN, and CableCreation. Note that you will not be able to use the Ethernet adapter that came with the Fire TV Cube if you use one of these micro USB adapters to connect a webcam. If you want to use both Ethernet and a webcam simultaneously, you’ll need to use a micro USB adapter that has both Ethernet and Full USB ports, like this Smays Ethernet Hub.
Once you have a webcam and micro USB adapter, you can find your Fire TV Cube in the Devices tab in the Alexa app on a phone or tablet and enable Communications. From there you can also enable Drop In for the Fire TV Cube if you’d like. Once everything is connected and enabled, you’ll be able to place calls on the Fire TV cube hands-free by saying “Alexa, call [NAME].” If needed, you can import contacts from your phone through the Alexa app.
If a call comes in on your Fire TV, just say “Alexa, answer” to pick it up. All calls begin with video turned off and you’ll need to say “Alexa, video on” to enable your camera feed. You can also do this with your remote. To adjust the volume, say “Alexa, volume up/down.”
Video calling for the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube is rolling out now to devices and will continue over the coming weeks. There’s no word yet on if the 1st-gen Fire TV Cube will gain this functionality in the future and it doesn’t seem like this will be coming to other Fire TV models, like the Fire TV Stick. Video calling on the Fire TV Cube 2 is available to customers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain.