Amazon turns Echos into rudimentary home security devices with 'Alexa Guard' update

Alexa can recite your Fitbit data to you.                  Tyler Lizenby  CNET

Alexa can recite your Fitbit data to you. Tyler Lizenby CNET

During its Alexa event back in September, Amazon announced a new home security feature called Alexa Guard. It will be free to Echo owners in the U.S. But the basic functions it does provide will certainly help you keep an eye on your home when you're not there. The feature can be enabled after a consumer says, "Alexa, I'm leaving", according to Tech Crunch.

Scroll down and select the Guard option.

Note: The Alexa app uses your zip code for Away Lighting, so it can smartly turn on your lights when it's nighttime in your neighborhood. "Just set Guard to Away mode and Alexa will do the rest". That tells the Guard app to begin listening for ambient background sounds in your house, including sounds of breaking glass and smoke and carbon monoxide detector alarms. When it does detect the sound of breaking glass or the alarms from your detectors, you'll be sent a 10-second audio sample that can be played through the Alexa app. And you'll be able to see a video feed of your home if your Echo speaker has a built-in camera.

In order for Alexa to accurately identify the sound of a window shattering, Amazon said it had a team break hundreds of different types of windows with objects like crow bars, hammers, bricks, and more. It won't sound an alarm or alert the authorities of a break-in.

Alexa Guard was originally available on newer-generation Echo smart speakers.

For traditional security system users, Guard can also be somewhat helpful.

Yes. Alexa Guard can be set up to work with your existing home security system. Customers can use their voices to arm and disarm their Ring, ADT Pulse, and ADT Control security systems.

Those folks with professional monitoring from ADT or Ring Protect Plus can choose to forward the recording so the company can take action.

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