Amazon will soon roll out Alexa Guard to all Echo owners, a feature that lets Echo speakers
"listen" to possible signs of a break-in or other home invasion-related emergencies while the homeowners are away.
Alexa Guard takes advantage of far-field microphones in Echo devices to listen for triggers such as the sound of glass breaking and alarms from a smoke or carbon monoxide detector
. When enabled, the user just has to say, "Alexa, I'm leaving," to toggle on the function. If the device hears something fishy, it sends a Smart Alert to their phone, which contains an audio recording of the incident.
Additionally, if the Echo device has a built-in camera, the user can take advantage of the Drop-In feature to watch a live feed of their home remotely. Those paying for professional surveillance via Ring
's security kit or ADT's Control smart home setup can even enable Alexa Guard to send Smart Alerts directly to the security provider, who may then alert authorities in case of potential emergencies.
Alexa Guard can also somewhat prevent home invasions by turning the lights on and off, making it seem there's someone at home when the owners aren't actually there.
Alexa Guard: Supported Echo Devices
As previously mentioned, Amazon is just starting to roll out Alexa Guard more widely, so don't be surprised if it isn't showing up yet. The feature is compatible with the following devices:
• Amazon Echo — all generations
• Amazon Echo Dot — all generations
• Amazon Echo Plus — all generations
• Amazon Echo Show — all generations
• Amazon Echo Spot
• Amazon Echo Input
How To Set Up Alexa Guard
Alexa Guard is now rolling out as a free addition to all Echo owners in the United States. To enable it, begin by updating Alexa to the latest version on iOS
. Tap the menu option on the top-left corner to expand the app's options and select Settings. Scroll to the bottom and select "Guard." Agree to allow the app to send Smart Alerts, and it's done.
Alexa Guard is an intriguing idea but remains untested. Amazon obviously isn't making any guarantees about safety, but the underlying idea is impressive, especially since it's relatively simple and uses technology already existing on Echo devices, including even the first-generation models.
What are your thoughts on Alexa Guard? Do you think it'll be useful for preventing home emergencies? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!