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Smart Home

Amazon's Echo Show now displays security camera feeds

View your camera's live video feed on the Echo Show's screen with a quick Alexa command.

You can now view your camera's video feed on the Echo Show's 7-inch screen.

Amazon

You no longer need to be next to your phone to view your security camera's live feed on demand. Amazon today announced Alexa compatibility with a bunch of cameras, including Nest, Netgear Arlo, LogitechAugust, Ring, Vivint, Ezviz, Amcrest and IC Realtime. 

While Amazon says the ability to listen to your camera's audio on any Alexa speaker is in the works, the Amazon Echo Show's 7-inch screen is the most logical point of access.

After you've paired your camera to the Alexa app, a simple phrase such as, "Alexa, show me the front door," or, "Alexa, show me the nursery," should pull up a live feed on the Echo Show's screen. 

Home security has lagged behind other categories in terms of integrations with major smart home platforms. That has been especially true for cameras.

D-Link's Omna was among the first security cameras to work with voice control -- and the very first Apple HomeKit camera to hit retail. 

Scout and Abode home security systems work with Amazon's voice platform, but the list of voice commands are largely limited to arming and disarming the system. Vivint, too, has worked with Alexa for years, but the partnership did not extend to security cameras. 

Until now. 

This is an important step for home security in the smart home, but it's hard to say how useful folks will find this integration if they don't own an Echo Show. Being able to listen to audio from your Echo Dot or other screen-free Alexa speaker probably won't be particularly illuminating. Still, it does offer a somewhat compelling reason to buy the Echo Show, even though the Show reminds me of the outdated in-wall panels professional security firms use as the "central command hub" for their residential systems. At least you can set the Echo Show on a coffee table or another central spot.

What I really want to see is the ability to ask any Alexa speaker to pull up your camera's live video feed via the Alexa-enabled Amazon Fire TV Stick. Better yet, why can't we use the Fire Stick's Alexa capabilities to pull up the live feed (without the need for a separate Alexa device)? With security camera apps from Nest, Canary and others available on the Apple TV, it will hopefully only be a matter of time.

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