If you haven’t had the time or budget yet to get a home security system but you have an existing Echo device (or you plan to get one soon), then soon you will have a way to have the bare minimum when it comes to monitoring and slightly protecting your house. The Alexa Guard mode will be part of the latest app update and has started rolling out after months of invite-only beta testing. Amazon is emphasizing though that it is not meant to be a replacement to a an alarm security system.
When you enable Alexa Guard, it will serve as your ears around your house. It will be able to detect sounds like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, glass breaking, etc. And once it detects something “unusual” it will send you a notification on your Alexa app and you can play it back and determine if it’s a cause for, well, alarm. If your Echo device has a camera, then you can drop in on the video feed to see if there is a potential problem.
You will also be able to turn on or off your compatible smart lights so as to appear like there’s someone in your house when you’re away. If you have an existing Ring or ADT security system, you can also set it up to arm the system. However, the Alexa Guard mode is still pretty limited as it cannot inform authorities if you have intruders that’s why it’s intended more as a complement or as a basic security tool.
To set it up, you will need to update your Alexa app to the latest version. Go to the settings and tap on “Guard” and the set-up process should be pretty painless. When you’re about to leave the house, you need to say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to enable the Guard mode. When you get home, just say “Alexa, I’m home” to disable it.
If you don’t have a smart speaker yet, then this is Amazon’s way of enticing you to get an Echo device instead of its competitors like Google Home or Apple Home. Would it be enough for you to decide on Echo and Alexa though?