People usually use Amazon’s Alexa to play music, provide weather forecasts and respond to other household requests. However, Amazon Echo just got unusual new skill: the ability to bark like a dog. Amazon’s Alexa can start barking like a dog inside your house if security cameras sense movement when you are not home.
A new subscription service is launching this week from Amazon to help turn your Echo device into a home security system for $4,99 a month or $49 a year (after a free 30-days trial). It is another way Amazon is using the Echo to make a recurring revenue from its hardware. However, it is important to note that Alexa helps people who may not want to pay for a full-blown security system.
Alexa Guard Plus can also alert you to any sounds in your home. It uses Amazon Echo and sounds a siren if an activity is recognized inside. Furthermore, you can also ask your Echo to call an emergency helpline if you are home and there is an intruder. You just need to say ‘Alexa, call for help.’
With Guard Plus, Alexa’s audio detection is even capable of recognizing specific sounds. It can recognize smoke alarms, glass breaking, or carbon monoxide warnings and then inform you about them. And in cases when an Echo detects an unusual noise, you can playback the recording. You can also use the Drop-In feature to listen to what your Echo is hearing in real-time.
Alexa can turn lights on and off to make it look like you are at home
Moreover, the Alexa Guard Plus also have party trick when your Echo connects to additional smart lights or security cams. If Alexa detects that you are not at home, it can turn lights on and off to make it look like you are there.
Significantly, there is a free version of Alexa Guard. However, it lacks many of the advanced features available with a paid subscription. These features include Emergency Helpline support, activity monitoring, and the ability for Alexa to bark or play a siren when motion or activity is detected.
According to Amazon, in the future, Alexa Guard Plus will also be available through several home security partners. These include Abode, Wyze, Scout Alarm, and others.
After you are set-up, you just need to say ‘Alexa, I’m leaving”, to turn on away mode. When you arrive home, just say ‘Alexa, I’m home’ to turn off away mode.