Post Updated: 6/28/19 – Last December Amazon announced the new Alexa Guard home security system feature on an invitation-only basis for US Alexa device owners, but it’s now available as a standard feature for all US users. Note that since I’m US-based, I can’t test or verify feature availability in other regions.
What Is Alexa Guard?
When enabled, Alexa Guard keeps Alexa’s microphones turned on so Alexa can listen for certain, specific sounds commonly associated with break-ins: specifically, sounds of breakage like broken glass. Per Amazon, Alexa will only listen for breakage sounds, using the same type of sound recognition technology that currently ensures Alexa is only ‘always listening’ for the wake word.
There are no service fees or charges of any kind associated with Alexa Guard, beyond what you’re already paying for your WiFi service. It’s simply a feature you can turn on or off.
If Alexa detects a possible break-in, you will receive an alert message from the Alexa app. If you own camera-enabled Alexa devices, like a Show or Spot, Alexa will prompt you to “Drop In” on those devices so you can get a visual on the room where that device is located.
You can turn Alexa Guard on or off with voice commands, making it convenient to turn on at night or when you leave the house, then turn it back off when you’re home and awake.
How To See If You Have Access To Alexa Guard
Alexa Guard is not compatible with early-generation Alexa devices, like the first-generation Echo or second-generation Dot.
To see if you have access, open the Alexa app and go to Settings. If there’s a “Guard” menu item there (in my copy of the Alexa app it’s at the very bottom of the list), you can tap it and follow the prompts.
Note to readers outside the US: It appears that the new feature was initially slated for rollout in the US only. As per usual, it will likely come to other regions after the trial rollout in the US is complete.
Click here to read a CNN Business article that explains how Amazon fine-tuned Alexa’s hearing for Alexa Guard to minimize the chance of false alarms.
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