Using Automatic Answering To Keep An Eye On Things

On the Skype Community, foxvalleyspirit recently shared a story about how they keep in contact with their pets during their holidays. It’s a great story and it also shows a little known feature of Skype that you could put to some creative uses – the ability to automatically answer Skype calls and turn on your video.

How to enable automatic answering

To turn on automatic answering in Skype for Windows desktop:

  1. Open Skype.
  2. On the menu bar, select Tools > Options.
  3. Select Calls, then click Show advanced options.
  4. Tick Answer incoming calls automatically and Start my video automatically when I am in a call.

Tip: You can also use an option on the same page to only allow calls from people in your contact list, increasing your control over who can call you.

These are the same steps if you’re using Skype for Mac:

  1. Open Skype.
  2. Click on the Skype menu and select Preferences…
  3. Select Calls, then set Incoming Calls to Answer automatically.
  4. Click Configure and select Answer automatically with video.

Some ways you might use automatic answering

One of the great things about foxvalleyspirit’s story is how they took this feature and made it work for them. Users are always finding ways to use Skype that delight and amaze us, so you might have a use for automatic answering that we’ve never even thought of. But if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few thoughts.

The automatic answering feature could be used for any situation in which you need to view a fixed location remotely. Making sure the pets don’t destroy the sofa is one example, but what about checking in on the kids’ room? Or trying to catch the culprit who’s been digging up your flower bed? Just don’t leave your laptop in the garden – use a webcam and a USB extension cable.

If, like foxvalleyspirit, you’re already using this feature in your own way, we’d love to hear the story in the comments.