Smart home security is a really lucrative market but it looks like Amazon is getting ahead of the curve by rolling out a bunch of advanced home security features enabled by Alexa and available on Echo devices â€” for free. The new platform is called Alexa Guard and itâ€™s now available for all Echo device owners, with no additional fee or monthly subscription. Amazon tells us that Echo owners can set up and enable Amazon Guard features almost instantly using the Alexa app.
Probably the most useful feature of the new security platform is a set of monitors that Amazon simply calls â€śSmart Alerts.â€ť Echo owners can simply issue the command, â€śAlexa, Iâ€™m leaving,â€ť and the digital assistant will switch the Guard feature over to Away mode. Once the device is in away mode, it listens for things like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or the sound of glass breaking. Once a designated event has occurred, you would get an alert telling you which type of sound was detected as well as an audio clip of the event.
In addition to the ability to send the same information to your professional monitoring service if youâ€™re into that sort of thing (Ring or ADT can both field Smart Alerts from Alexa Guard), you can also check on the event yourself. Amazon has enabled Alexa Guard to let you drop in on your Echo remotely to check out just what is happening at home.
People have been using timers for years (not to mention just leaving a couple of lights on) to simulate the idea that someone is home in case bad guys are casing the place. Amazon Guard takes this idea way further since it can enable Alexa to use connected smart lights, plugs and switches to make it look like youâ€™re home. Hereâ€™s the futuristic part: You donâ€™t even have to program the timing of the on/off events. Alexa uses machine learning to figure out your behavior and programs the right lighting activity for your home based on how you use lights and other connected devices normally.
For those of you who have enough stuff or security concerns to need a monitoring service, Alexa Guard has you covered, too. The new platform can integrate with those services, including hands-free voice arming and disarming of security control systems from a variety of services including Ring, ADT Pulse and ADT Control, including the ability to copy your security monitoring service on any Smart Alerts that come down the line.
To get started, Echo users can just open the latest version of their Alexa app, go to Settings, and select Guard to begin the setup.