What you need to know
- Amazon is launching Guard Plus an expansion of Alexa Guard.
- It's launching later this year for $4.99/month or $49/year in the U.S.
- Amazon Care Hub is an expansion of Echo speakers to keep an eye on family members that need extra help.
It can be a little difficult to keep track of all the things Echo speakers are capable of. The core of the smart speakers is to answer questions you have and act on commands you give them, but they're so much more than that.
Amazon's offered its Alexa Guard feature as a free home security service that uses your Echo speakers to be turned into a home security device, and soon, the functionality is being expanded with Alexa Guard Plus. It's coming "later this year" to the United States, and it'll run you $4.99/month or $49/year after a one-month free trial.
So, what exactly do you get with Guard Plus? It'll still use your Echo devices to listen for key sounds, but now it can play noises of its own in response to something that's detected. For example, if it's detected that someone is at your front door, Guard Plus can play barking dog sounds to deter them from trying anything fishy. You'll also gain access to a 24/7 emergency number that can route your calls to the proper emergency service you need.
Amazon's opening Guard Plus to work with other home security offerings, including the likes of Wyze, Scout, and Ring. If you're a subscriber to Ring Protect Plus, you'll get Alexa Guard Plus for free.
Similarly, Amazon also announced the Alexa Care Hub. Once again utilizing existing Echo/Alexa devices you have, Care Hub is broken up into two distinct modes — to provide support and to help you if you want to receive support.
Now, if you have an elderly parent or other family members that might need some assistance, you can use Care Hub to see an activity feed of their Alexa interactions, get notifications of that activity, and they'll always have access to hands-free calling to emergency contacts if they need assistance.
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