We normally bring up AI assistants and smart speakers in the context of keeping your conversations and home life separate from the vigilant ears of these digital helpers (and those who may be listening in) but it turns out, they can serve as security measures themselves. Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa, will soon be able to act as its own supplemental home security system. Amazon will be rolling out a free update that gives all Alexa users in the US access to the previously invite-only Alexa Guard feature, which the company has been testing over the past few months on its line of Echo smart speakers.
Alexa Guard is a security feature that can be enabled on all Echo smart speakers, and while it isn’t meant to act as a replacement for your existing home security, it can bolster whatever level of protection you currently have for your home. Alexa Guard can:
- Use your home’s smart lights to appear as if you’re home.
- Listen for and record potentially threatening sounds (examples given by Amazon include shattering glass or smoke alarms), then send alerts to connected phones and other devices that include the recording.
- Sync up with any Ring security devices installed in your home, and arm your Ring security system when it detects a threat
- Show you remote camera feeds if any of your Echo devices include a built-in camera
You can find more uses on Amazon Support’s Guard FAQ page.
How to enable Alexa Guard
Alexa Guard will be free for all US Echo users, but you’ll need to wait for the update to roll out to your phone before you have access to it. The best way to manually check for an update is to check the Alexa app store pages on Google Play, Amazon, or the iOS App Store. Otherwise, the update will usually install itself automatically when it’s available.
Once you’ve applied the update (and ensured your Echo devices and your phone are properly paired up), here’s how to enable Alexa Guard:
- Open the Alexa app
- Go to Settings>Guard
- Follow the on-screen directions.
- After completing the setup, you can turn on Alexa Guard’s monitoring by saying “Alexa, I’m leaving” whenever you leave your house (Guard won’t be active while your home).