Alexa can now guard your home while you’re away
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve left our homes and our only point of defense is a … defenseless Alexa powered device. Well, she isn’t as defenseless anymore.
Rolling out in the United States, Alexa Guard is an Echo update that allows your Alexa powered speaker to listen for anything that might give a sense of “danger”. Glass breaking, smoke alarm, you get the point.
In the case of any of these “triggers”, Alexa will send out Smart Alerts that are essentially audio clips, to you. If you have one of those Echo devices with a camera, she’ll even send you video clips (either live, or recorded).
How does this work?
Once you enable this feature and shoot the “Alexa, I’m leaving” command, Alexa uses her microphones to listen for those triggers I mentioned earlier. Alexa then sends you the Smart Alert (which is either audio or audio + video). There are also upgrades you can pay for that allow your Echo device to contact law enforcement directly.
What are the triggers?
Specifically: smoke alarm sounds, carbon monoxide alarms, or glass breaking. You can choose which of these options you want enabled.
How to set up Alexa Guard?
Regardless of if you own an iOS or Android device, open the Alexa app and… Menu –> Settings –> Guard. Pretty straight forward, eh?
To activate Alexa Guard, simply say “Alexa, I’m leaving“. And upon your return, “Alexa, I’m home“.
Can Alexa Guard only listen for sounds?
No, there’s more. Away Lighting is Alexa’s way to automatically turn your smart lights on or off: to give the appearance that someone’s home. In fact, I’m currently 2,000 miles away from home as I write this blog post, and Alexa has just turned my smart lights on.
*Note, she tracks your location to find the perfect time to turn your lights on. You won’t have to worry about your lights being left on 24/7.
You can even purchase the Ring Security System or the ADT one (Amazon offers bundles for those) to sync with Alexa in helping you protect your home a bit more.
Availability and cost?
“All you need is a compatible Echo device– Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Spot, or Echo Input– to set up Guard and opt-in to Smart Alerts.”
Cost wise: it’s all free – unless you opt in for the actual security system features that you’d have to buy.