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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

(Updated) Amazon Guard Takes a Step into Home Security

As announced recently Amazon will be starting to offer the Alexa/Echo infrastructure to listen into the home for security while you are away.  Only some of their devices will support this, but I imagine most people who have invested in Amazon for the smart home will try this.   They already offer cameras and portal/doorbell devices. This will also compete with many other home and office security systems.    Emphasizing that Amazon will be listening may once again open up the fear of potential loss of home privacy. 

(Update) Been thinking about this, it is the first case of the smart home listening to the home sound environment by itself, and with the potential of making programmed adjustments to what it senses (sounds, motions? ).  I recall we used the thermostat as an example sensor-device interaction in the early days of AI.    Now we have what's closer to a conversation between smart home and assistant. ....

CNet overviews what it does today:

Alexa Guard goes live, lets your Echo speakers listen for trouble
We're testing out Amazon's new security mode for Alexa-enabled smart speakers. Here what you need to know.    Ry Crist  in CNet

"Alexa, I'm leaving."
"OK -- I'll be on guard."

That's the gist of Alexa Guard, a new feature from Amazon that lets your Echo devices keep an ear out for trouble when you're away from home. If Alexa hears something after you've put her into Guard mode -- a smoke alarm ringing or the sound of shattering glass, for instance -- she'll send you a notification. If you're an ADT or Ring subscriber, she'll notify your home security monitoring service, too.

Another feature: If you want, Alexa will cycle your smart lights on and off while you're away to make it look like you're home.

First announced back in September, Alexa Guard is now rolling out to Amazon's customer base in the US. I was able to turn the feature on in my own home over the weekend, and spent some time testing it out. Here are some early takeaways:  ... "

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