What you need to know
- Amazon has launched its new person and package announcements for Ring video doorbells and security cameras with Alexa support.
- Alexa will send alerts to your Echo devices as well as Fire TV and Fire Tablet devices when a person or package is detected at your door.
- Ring, Google, and Abode are working with Amazon to incorporate these features into their respective offerings.
The new person and package detection will notify you in several ways, such as by pushing notifications to the Alexa app, blaring an alert on an Echo speaker, or displaying a live video feed on the Echo Show, Fire TV, or Fire tablet.
For the time being, person detection is only available on Ring video doorbells and cameras certified under the Works with Alexa program. But Amazon says it will eventually arrive on some of the best outdoor security cameras, such as the Google Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery), Nest Cam (indoor, wired), Nest Cam with floodlight, Nest Doorbell (battery), Abode IOTA, and Abode outdoor cameras in the near future.
The package detection feature is a bit more restrictive, though. It will support Abode Iota and outdoor cameras in addition to Ring, but Google Nest will be left out in the cold. Not all Ring products will be supported either: package detection will only be available for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 and Ring Video Doorbell 2020 initially.
The feature works with Alexa routines. You can make the necessary configurations in the Alexa app so your smart outdoor floodlight, for example, will automatically turn on or lock the front door when your security camera spots a package or a visitor. You can find more details about setting up the person and package detection features here.
However, these features are tied to a Ring Protect subscription, so you won't be able to use them unless you pay at least $3 per month. You can activate person and package detection within the Smart Alerts feature in the Ring app.
Thanks to a new API from Amazon, these features will be extended to more security camera brands that support Alexa and use computer vision technology. Developers can now access the Alexa Object Detection Sensor API through the Alexa Developer Console.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.