I was so excited for this product, truth be told I still am. Unfortunately it looks like you won’t be able to make or receive calls to phones with the device. It’s going to be a tough sell to replace my kids smartphones with a screen free device if they can’t call or take calls from their friends.
The good idea is that you don’t get calls from anyone you don’t know. The unfortunate result is that you can’t “call” anybody who does not have a Relay, on your account. This would seem to be a fatal flaw in the concept.
Ways they could get around this:
- allow Relays to be connected to relays in other accounts.
- Have iphone and android apps which if installed, can be called from Relays. There is some kind of app currently, but as far as I can tell, it does not “ring” when called unless the app is open, and that is essentially useless.
- Have a “phone system interface” accessory which would allow pre-set numbers to call and be called.
Excellent comment @JawsofLife and analysis @7cats. First I should clarify that Relay is designed to be a closed group to allow parents to limit communication access to their children. It’s meant to be a communication device that is more restrictive than a cell phone and there is no need to “call” as the communication channel is always connected and connects all devices. Regarding @7cats points:
- Something we’ve been thinking about.
- The Relay app is used to configure your devices but also allows you to chat with your family’s Relays and there is a mechanism to notify the Relay app that a device wants to chat.
- As devices in a group share the channel all devices get the message without the need to call. That said, additional channels are also being considered…