Nurture - December 12, 2020

How The Amazon Devices Drop In Feature is Bringing My Family Together for Christmas

For my family, Christmas happens in New York City every year! We usually spend our days walking through the city’s noisy and crowded streets, in and out of stores, shopping, and enjoying the holiday chaos. We stop at Saks for the light show, eat at our favorite restaurants, see the Rockettes, take the kids to SantaLand but most importantly, we get quality time with my extended family. Everyone in my family lives in NYC except for me, so not being able to go to New York means not seeing any of my family. The necessity to social distance for so many of us is making Christmas very different, this year. But, thankfully the Drop In feature on our Amazon Echo Show is making staying connected with family over the holidays a whole lot easier.

It wasn’t until the fall that it truly hit me… I hadn’t traveled to New York for almost a year! The more I thought about it, the more horrified I felt. It was nearly a full year since my grandparents had seen my kids! Of course, we checked-in every few weeks via phone, but my grandparents don’t have social media or a smart phone and so literally, they had no idea how much the kids had grown. Especially my son, who was a newborn last Christmas.

One day back in October, I was sitting in front of my computer organizing MAED’s Amazon storefront for Amazon Prime Day when suddenly, it dawned on me: my favorite Echo Show could solve the problem that had been weighing heavily on my family and me.

Using the Drop In Feature on my Amazon Echo Show

 

I was placing the Amazon Echo Show on our Electronics You Have To Have shopping list when I remembered that I could use an Amazon Echo Device to call or Drop In on a contact as long as they also have an Alexa-enabled device (with their permission, of course). All I had to do was send an Echo Show to my grandmother and set it up so we could finally enjoy some face to face time.

 

What is Alexa’s Drop In Feature?

 

Drop In is a feature on your Amazon Devices that allows you to connect with family and friends. As long as they’ve enabled the feature on their account and have given you permission, you can utter the command, “Alexa, Drop In on (insert contact name),” and you will be instantly connected. 

How to Setup Drop In

 

Setting it up is simple. First, download the Alexa App to manage Drop In capabilities for your contact list. You need to permit a contact to Drop In, and that contact needs to enable the Drop In feature for you too. Rest assured, no one can Drop In without mutual permission. Then:

  • Open the Alexa App 
  • Open Devices 
  • Select Echo & Alexa, and then select your device
  • Select Communications

Select “Drop In”, and then select which permissions to enable.

Alexa, Drop-In on Grandma

 

I’m not sure what took me so long to utilize this feature, but it has been an absolute game changer in so many beautiful ways. It was a pretty emotional moment for me the first time we used the Drop In feature with my grandmother. My aunt, who we also have not been able to see in close to a year was visiting and so we were able to catch up with her too.

It was pretty incredible to see my grandmother and grandfather, two understandably technology challenged individuals navigate a video chat. I honestly don’t know whose smile was bigger, theirs, mine or my daughter’s. Watching my five-year-old go ga-ga over finally seeing her great grandmother brought tears to my eyes.

 

Drop In from Anywhere

 

My favorite attribute of the Drop In feature is that I can also use the Alexa App on my mobile device to Drop In and connect to my grandmother’s Echo Show. Once we get back to the world we once knew and start traveling again, this feature is going to be so handy to continue staying connected to my grandparents no matter where I am. 

Upholding our family’s traditions have been so important to me, especially as I’ve grown my own family, and while I’m still very sad that we won’t see each other in person this year, I’m deeply grateful that we have technology and our Amazon Devices to keep us connected this year.

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