In the afternoon of September 24, 2020, Amazon announced Alexa Guard Plus at their annual hardware event. Does that name ring any bells? The base term, Alexa Guard, was given to a free feature of Amazon Alexa. It prevents your house from being robbed while you’re away. In essence, the feature can mirror your regular smart lights routine, deceiving potential burglars into thinking there’s someone home. Its Echo smart speakers and Echo Show displays also listened in to signs of potential danger. However, they couldn’t do much about it, only send a notification to your device.
To obtain Guard Plus, you will have to pay $4.99 per month or $49 per year. For that price, you gain access to emergency services and additional security for your home. Once you put the device on Away mode, it will listen to the sounds of suspicious activity. This includes doors opening and closing, glass breaking, and similar definitive sounds. When it detects any of these, it will do two things. First, it will start playing warning sounds to turn the intruders away and make them give up. They gave an example of dogs barking or sirens blaring.
Second, it will make a call to a 24/7 emergency helpline, staffed by “trained agents” as Amazon put it. This does not use cellular or mobile phone networks, only your Internet connection. The agents can analyze the situation and call emergency services on your behalf. This prevents the device from making fake calls. This is not limited to the time you’re far from home, either. By saying, “Alexa, call for help” you can also reach the agents yourself. They can call the police, the ambulance, the fire department, or even get in touch with the personal emergency contact you set up.
Of course, you get instant notification of the activity to your smart device, as we mentioned. This ranges from the intrusion of property to your carbon monoxide or fire alarms going off. The software also allows you to tune in for the live audio or recordings of suspected activity. With that, you can choose your next course of action and get help yourself. And, if any legal action needs to be taken afterward, you have clear evidence of the event, which is a big relief.
Since this is a piece of software, you don’t necessarily have to possess Amazon Alexa. They announced this subscription can be bundled up with other subscriptions you might already pay. Some of those include services such as Scout Alarm, Wyze, Abode, Resideo, A3 Smart Home, and Ring. Every service we mentioned, except Ring, gets to enjoy a free trial for a month. Those who are already paying for a Ring Plus subscription get Guard Plus for free. After all, Ring is owned by Amazon.
Alexa Guard Plus is scheduled to start arriving in customers in the United States in the fall of 2020, which means until the end of the year. You can sign up for their newsletter to be notified the moment the service launches.