Amazon Alexa can not only control your smart home, it can now protect it as well.
On Tuesday, Amazon introduced Alexa Guard, a feature that adds home security through any Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo smart speaker. Users can get automatic alerts when the device detects the sound of a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking after you’ve told it that you’re out of town.
Alexa Guard will also let you know the kind of sound it thinks it has heard and send you an audio recording of that sound so you can confirm that, in fact, a burglar broke your window and not your 100-pound Labrador knocking over your glass planter again.
If you do find a sound alarming (pun intended), you can then use Alexa’s ‘Drop In’ feature to remotely check in on the situation and contact your home security, with a tap.
Using Alexa Guard doesn’t require additional hardware, but it must be enabled within the Alexa app and then activated. To do so, users who are about to leave their home must say, “Alexa, I’m leaving.”
After downloading the latest version of the app, users must go to the Settings menu and then select “Guard” from the list of features (it’s under TV & Video and Photos). On-screen instructions will then take you through setting it up on a device.
Another feature included in Guard can take security a step further by controlling your home’s lights in your absence. It uses machine learning to determine the right lighting activity for your home based on lighting use by other customers at the time.
For traditional security system users, Guard can also be somewhat helpful. Customers can use their voices to arm and disarm their Ring, ADT Pulse, and ADT Control security systems.
Guard isn’t really a replacement for buying a home security system. But it can be a free way to get some extra peace of mind.