Amazon’s next Alexa-powered devices will have the ability to make phone calls, according to a report on Friday.

Recode sources say the firm is planning to unleash new hardware this year that could also be linked with other Alexa devices for use as an intercom.

The report says the efforts are geared towards encouraging more use of gadgets like the Echo, amid reports the increased availability of voice-based Alexa Skills (there’s now more than 10,000) apps isn’t necessarily translating to usage.

Communications tools could push buyers to make greater use of their smart speakers.

Amazon is currently testing the devices internally, the sources say, with an announcement expected in the coming months.

This isn't the first time such an advancement has been mooted.

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