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What is Amazon Alexa Guard?

Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Gen
Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Gen (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: Alexa Guard is a feature of Amazon Echo devices that can leverage the Echo's microphones and connected smart home devices into a DIY home security system.

What is Amazon Alexa Guard?

Alexa Guard uses your existing Echo speakers and Alexa-connected devices to build a home security system. If you tell your Echo "Alexa, I'm leaving", Alexa will respond "OK, I'll be on guard" and switch into Away mode, which can do a variety of things:

  • Microphone arrays on your Amazon Echo devices will listen for sounds that may indicate a problem — breaking glass, smoke detectors or alarm sounds, a loud clatter or fall — and send an alert to your smartphone if it hears something.
  • If smart lights are connected, Alexa will switch lights on and off at random intervals to simulate someone being home.
  • If a security system from Ring or ADT, Alexa will arm those security systems when you depart, and if Alexa Guard detects something wrong, Alexa can send an alert to the professionals monitoring your home system.

If you already have most of the hardware of a home security system — connected cameras, speakers, displays, and more — you just need some sort of connective glue to tie them all together. Alexa already connected the pieces together, now it's just doing so as it aims to let you build your own security system.

When can I use Alexa Guard

Amazon has begun slowly rolling out Alexa Guard to Amazon Echo owners on Dec. 13, 2018, but it's unclear how long it will take for the feature to reach everyone. Even once Alexa Guard rolls out, its functionality with pre-existing home security devices is on something of a murky timetable as well. Developers for home security systems and products will need to integrate the Alexa Security Panel Controller API (opens in new tab), which may take time to be implemented, tested, and then rolled out.

In short, you may already have access to Alexa Guard right now, but if you don't, it'll be here soon. Also expect improvements over the next six months if it doesn't interface with all of your Alexa devices right now.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.