Amazon has announced new home security features for Alexa, the AI-powered voice assistant featured in a long line of Amazon's smart devices. Although the company markets its Echo primarily for use in your home, it sounds like these upcoming features could also be used to protect your small business or office.
The first is Alexa Guard, which will include a mode where your Echo listens for the sound of glass breaking or a carbon monoxide or smoke alarm. If Alexa Guard hears these sounds, your Echo will alert you with a notification on your smartphone or contact the security company you've hired. Keep in mind that Amazon lists only ADT as a professional security service that officially supports Echo.
For preventive measures, Alexa Guard can also control smart lights in your business or office. It will randomly turn them on and off to make it appear as though people are on your premises when no one is actually there.
These Alexa Guard features are meant to be activated by the last person to step out of your business or office. They can do this by saying, "Alexa, I'm leaving." If you don't prompt Alexa to enter Guard mode, it won't do so automatically.
Amazon says Alexa Guard will be available by the end of 2018 for "select" Echo devices. The company has yet to specify which ones exactly.
The next new feature for Alexa security will be two-way talk added to the Echo Show, the company's "smart display" device. This will be available when the Echo Show is integrated with August and Ring smart doorbell.
When someone rings your doorbell, or the doorbell camera notifies you that someone is in front of the door, you can say to your Echo Show, "Alexa, answer the front door." Then Alexa will show camera footage of the person on your Echo Show's display, and you can choose to talk to them through the Echo Show. Alexa Guard can also integrate with your existing security system, like ADT. This means Echo devices can function as just another security sensor within your businesss.
These new features should be a cost-effective way to bolster your existing security system or establish a casual first line of defense.