Amazon’s Echo is getting a Home Security Feature
Amazon today announced the new security feature, Alexa Guard, would soon make its way to Echo speakers across the U.S. While the service won’t act as a replacement for a professional home security service, Alexa Guard will provide some additional piece of mind for homeowners while they’re away.
To activate this free cloud service, users must simply say “Alexa, I’m leaving” and the speaker will know to listen for key sounds like breaking glass, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, etc. When Echo picks up one of these sounds, it will send out a Smart Alert consisting of either an audio clip or a direct video feed of the area, depending on the speaker’s capabilities.
While Echo will not be able to contact emergency services directly, users can decide on next steps based on the information provided by the alert. One option is to access the Drop In call feature to verify if anything is wrong, and if so, notify home security services like ADT Security Services or Amazon’s very own Ring by forwarding along the alert.
In addition to providing alerts about suspicious sounds, Alexa Guard can also activate Away Lighting to make it appear as if someone is home. The feature mimics the way homeowners typically go about their daily routines by switching lights both on and off to deter criminal activity.
To set up Alexa Guard, users must enable the “Guard” feature in the Alexa app and be sure to use the accompanying voice command to activate it. The service can also be programmed to arm a user’s Ring security system each time Guard mode is on. It’s important to note however that the service is still gradually rolling out, so it may not be available to everyone just yet.