How you can arrange the brand new safety features for Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo has a few new home security features that are available now. Among other things, your Amazon Echo can make it look like a dog is barking in your house when your surveillance cameras detect movement when you are away.
The feature is part of Alexa Guard Plus, a subscription service that costs $ 4.99 per month or $ 49 per year after a 30-day free trial. It’s another way Amazon uses the Echo to generate recurring revenue from its hardware, but it’s also useful for people who might not want to pay for a full-fledged security system.
Guard Plus can also use your Amazon Echo to alert you to noises in your home and trigger a siren when activity is detected inside. You can also ask your Echo to call an emergency number when you are home and an intruder is present.
How to set it up:
How to set up Alexa Guard Plus on Amazon Echo
Amazon Alexa Guard
Todd Haselton | CNBC
- First, you need to sign up for the trial version on the Amazon website or say “Alexa, try Guard Plus” near your Amazon Echo.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- At the bottom right, tap More.
- Choose Settings.
- At the bottom of the page, tap Protection.
- You will see an option to set up Guard with your existing devices. However, you can more easily tap the Settings icon at the top right of the page to cycle through all of the options.
- Under “Deter”, select “Dog Barking” to set your echo to deter intruders while you are away. This requires cameras that are either outdoors or outdoors. Select the cameras you want to use.
- Select Activity Sounds With Siren to have your echo sound a siren when you are away and someone inside hears you. Amazon warns that a pet can trigger this.
- Finally tap on “Emergency number”. Enter your address here in case you need help. If you have an emergency, just say, “Alexa, call for help.” It will “choose trained agents who can request the dispatch of emergency services – such as the police, fire brigade or ambulance – on your behalf.” Note that this is not a 911 and is only available in the US. Agents are available 24/7.
If you don’t want to pay, there is also a free tier from Alexa Guard which is pretty useful.
For example, you can select “Absence Lighting” under “Deter”, which turns your smart lights on and off when you are away to make them look like home. Amazon says it learns from your regular patterns, so it’s not just random.
The free tier can also alert you to smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tones or when your Echo hears broken glass. Simply select “Sound Detection” under “Detect”.
Once you’re set up, just say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to turn on away mode.
You can also set Alexa to protect from your phone when you leave the house. When you get home just say, “Alexa, I’m home.”