Amazon’s Alexa is getting some new functionality for users in the US. The new functionality, Alexa Home Guard, will take steps to keep your home safer from burglars and home invasions. While Amazon has clarified that this new service will be no replacement for a home security service, it can be set up to send messages to your existing home security system.
Alexa Home Guard
How it Works
The Alexa Home Guard command, “Alexa, I’m leaving” will set your Alexa into Home Guard mode. When you step out, Alexa will be on the listen for whatever criteria you’ve set up to listen for. This can include the sound of breaking glass, or the sound of a smoke alarm going off.
When the system is tripped, you can set up a variety of responses the system goes through in reaction. Firstly, the system can send you a push alert to your phone to let you know what tripped the system, along with a recording of the incident.
Additionally, you can set the Home Guard system up to bring up your smart lights in an attempt to scare off would-be intruders. While this isn’t exactly the same as having a home security system, it’s a close approximation that is free to use.
While this service will be free and has lots of potential uses, there are a few drawbacks. For one thing, the system has to be listening the entire time you’re away. This could be a concern, given recent issues with Alexa listening in on conversations.
Another drawback of the Alexa Home Guard system is that it is only listening for specific criteria, like breaking glass and a smoke alarm. More mundane sounds, like the door opening or a window being pushed open, wouldn’t fire off the alert system, making it a bit of a half-measure in terms of full home security. This explains why Amazon warns that this isn’t a replacement for a full-blown home security system.