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Smart Home

ADT calls on Amazon's Alexa to help secure the smart home

Starting this month, ADT Pulse customers will be able to ask Alexa to arm and disarm their security systems, lock the doors or control lights and other system devices.

If you use ADT Pulse for your home security needs, then your setup is about to get an assist from Amazon's Alexa.

Starting this month, ADT Pulse customers will be able to ask Alexa to arm and disarm their home security systems.

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Expected to arrive this month, the ADT Pulse skill for Amazon's virtual assistant will let owners of an Alexa-enabled device like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers control their home security using spoken commands. Sync everything up, and you'll be able to ask Alexa to arm or disarm your system after giving her a four-digit PIN code.

You'll also be able to control Pulse-compatible connected home devices like smart deadbolts and smart lights, a handy way of locking up and turning things off as you're going to bed. And don't worry if you don't own an Echo or an Echo Dot yet -- ADT will gladly sell you one direct starting in February, complete with setup assistance.

It's just one of a growing number of new Alexa skills and integrations announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. Following a year of explosive growth, and with more people than ever using Echo devices in their homes, Amazon's Alexa has become the hottest smart home bandwagon in town, easily outpacing rivals like Apple HomeKit and Google Home.

Mike George, Amazon's vice president of Alexa and Appstore, claims that smart home controls have been among Alexa's most-used features. Putting ADT Pulse under the umbrella only means that even more people will be able to try them out. "We're excited to work with a leading security company like ADT to expand the Alexa smart home experience through their new skill," George said.

Still, it's not the first security system to sync up with Alexa. That distinction goes to Scout Home Security, a DIY setup that embraced the Amazon Echo back in 2015.