What the Tech? Amazon's Alex Guard adding extra protection to homes
If you’re one of the 100 million or so Americans who have an Amazon Echo device in your home, there’s one thing you should do right now to protect your home.
Echo devices are the smart assistants that are triggered by saying the name “Alexa." Amazon reported earlier this year that over 100 million Alexa enabled devices had been sold. The company doesn’t release official numbers but last week said the Echo Dot was again one of the most popular product purchased during the holidays.
Yet most Echo device owners do not know about a feature or skill that will protect your home from burglars, fire and even carbon monoxide.
Amazon launched Alexa Guard earlier this year. By saying “Alexa I’m leaving” the Echo device will listen for loud noises and glass breaking. If it detects and suspects someone is trying to break it, it will send an alert to your smartphone or other device.
It also listens for alarms or beeps from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have an alarm system from ADT or a Ring doorbell, it will also call police.
Alexa Guard does not require much set up and is activated in minutes using the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Alexa also has third-party skills that act as a burglar deterrent. “Guard Dog” is a skill that must be installed and enabled but will play the sound of dogs barking until you ask it to stop.