Alexa is one of the strongest contenders in the virtual assistant space and Amazon has done a great job in giving it a solid ecosystem. Amazon is rolling yet another feature for Alexa on Echo devices dubbed Guard mode. The Guard mode works through sound cues, as in when set to Guard mode the Echo device is constantly on the lookout for specific acoustic patterns like the breaking of glass or the sound of alarms.
Amazon states “You can configure supported Echo devices to detect specific sounds you select, such as the sound of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and glass breaking. Guard will only detect these sounds when set to Away mode. 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. Alexa can send you a Smart Alert, via a mobile notification, that allows you to listen to detected sounds through your Alexa app. Alexa Guard is not a replacement for an alarm system or life safety device and cannot contact emergency services, such as the police or fire department, on your behalf. However, if you connect a supported professionally-monitored security system to Guard, you can choose to forward Smart Alerts, including audio recordings of selected sounds, to your security service provider.”
You also have the option to connect Alexa Guard to a professionally monitored security service such as Ring Alarm or ADT Pulse and have your Echo forward Smart Alerts to them. Amazon also gives you the options to delete your Alexa Guard audio recordings, they state “Yes. You can review Alexa Guard audio recordings associated with your account and delete those recordings one by one or all at once by visiting Privacy in Settings in the Alexa app or Deleting Alexa Guard audio recordings may degrade your Alexa experience”.
Alexa Guard really brings a big value addition to Echo devices, giving them an added security aspect. Yes there are limitations and it’s not meant to replace essential home security systems in any way, but extra features such as these are always welcome. This update is rolling out in phases for all U.S consumers with compatible Echo devices, you can find more details here.