Tech

FTC urged by child advocates to Explore Amazon’s Alexa

FTC urged by child advocates to Explore Amazon’s Alexa

Alexa Guard is a new feature in the Alexa app that allows you to check for suspicious activities.

Once you've enabled any or all of these features, you simply need to say "Alexa, I'm leaving" to put the speakers into Guard mode. Alexa Guard can listen for specific events like the sound of glass breaking or a smoke alarm going off. "Just set Guard to Away mode and Alexa will do the rest".

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It's straightforward: What if the Echo speakers in your home could detect threats and then help make you instantly aware of them? Similar to the wake word, the device detects these sounds by identifying acoustic patterns that match the sounds you select. Guard does not store or send audio to the cloud unless the device detects a selected sound. It delivers down-firing, 100W of bass through its 6-inch woofer, and you can pair it with an Echo or two to create a 2.1 stereo system. This time around, it has revamped speakers and a feature called local voice control, which lets you adjust your various smart-home devices even if your internet connection is down. With Alexa Guard, your existing Echo devices now double as security monitors. Amazon notes that Alexa Guard isn't meant to be a replacement for an alarm system, and it isn't able to alert authorities.

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You can say things like "Alexa, play Norah Jones at the Lounge" and it would play from your favourite music streaming services like Spotify or Deezer (which I'm now using). Today, a bit more than half a year after it was first revealed, Alexa Guard is starting its roll out to Echo owners.

"With Away Lighting, Alexa can automatically turn compatible smart lights on and off to make it look like someone is home".

All that said, Amazon is quick to point out that Guard is not a security system in and of itself. In fact, if you have a professional monitoring service through Ring or ADT, you can forward Smart Alerts to your security company.

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