Alexa can now listen for alarms—or, perhaps, a cheating spouse? | 6/19/2018 | Staff
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Alexa's got a new gig: home safety.

Amazon today introduces Alexa Guard, a free feature that uses the microphones of the Amazon Echo speakers to listen for the sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms or breaking glass.

Assistant - Text - Alerts - Phone - Amazon

Should the personal assistant hear any of those, it will send text alerts to your phone. Amazon says it's introducing the feature to "help you keep your home safe."

Amazon says that security devices, such as the Ring video doorbell, which Amazon owns, or ADT Pulse, which it doesn't, can work with Guard in that Alexa will send the alerts to the security provider.

Alexa - Lights - Home - Amazon

Additionally, Alexa can be programmed to have smart, connected lights turn on and off remotely when you're out "to make it look like you're home while you're away," says Amazon.

To sign up, users will need to update their Alexa smartphone apps, go to Settings, and select Guard to begin setup. The command to trigger it is "Alexa, I'm leaving," and that switches Guard into "Away mode." That's when Alexa starts listening for the sounds of alarms. Amazon says Alexa can listen to these while doing other tasks, such as playing music.

Advantage - Services - Catch - Echo - House

However, to take advantage of the services, there's a catch. You'll want to have more than one Echo in the house. Amazon recommends putting one in every room, as close to the alarms as possible.

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