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Smart Home

5 new Alexa security tricks to watch over your smart home

Alexa just got a little better at keeping your home safe.

smart-home-security

Alexa can now do more with your smart doorbell.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Amazon's surprise event Thursday brought us over a dozen new products from the online retailer. But that wasn't all. We also got new Alexa updates that anyone with an Alexa-enabled device can use.

Security was a big focus with new features that can keep your home safe. Here's a look at the new ways you can secure your home with help from Alexa. 

Alexa Guard

One of the biggest security-focused features coming to Amazon's devices is Alexa Guard. Using your Echo devices, Alexa listens for noises that indicate danger, like a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off or the sound of breaking glass. 

If Alexa detects something suspicious, you'll receive an alert on your mobile phone with audio clips of the sound. 

Alexa Guard also integrates with Ring and ADT services, so you'll have the option to forward the alert to your monitored security provider's dispatch center. You can enable Alexa Guard mode by saying phrases like, "Alexa, I'm leaving." 

Alexa Hunches

Alexa and its voice assistant competitors are focused on becoming smarter and more conversational. Amazon announced one more step in that direction Thursday with the introduction of Alexa Hunches. 

It tries to mimic a human's hunch that you're forgetting something or something doesn't seem quite right. For example, if you say "Alexa, goodnight" but you've left a light on or door unlocked, Alexa will suggest to lock the door or turn off the light and do it for you. 

Alexa doorbell API 

Alexa-enabled security cameras from RingArlo and August, along with Amazon's own Cloud Cam indoor security camera, are getting the capability to work with the Amazon Cameras Recap API. This API allows you to view recorded video clips by saying, "Alexa, show the event that just happened at the back door."   

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This new Alexa feature currently works on the Amazon Echo Show, the Echo Spot, the Fire TV and Fire tablets

Before the Cameras Recap API, you could say things like, "Alexa, pull up the back door live feed" to view real-time video, but seeing saved clips wasn't an option. You'll also be able to see who is at your door and talk with them by saying, "Alexa talk to the back-door camera."

Away Lighting

A feature of Alexa Guard, Away Lighting intermittently turns on and off your smart lights to make it look like someone is home when you're away. 

Alexa Guard uses machine learning to turn the lights on and off in patterns that appear natural, aiming to deter intruders. 

Doorbell chime announcements

In addition to doorbell video expansions, Amazon also announced doorbell chime capability. If someone rings your smart doorbell, you'll hear a chime on all of your Echo devices. 

Those are only a few of the things Amazon announced Thursday in Seattle. For a complete recap of all the hardware, software and service updates introduced, visit our post here

Everything Apple announced at its Sept. 12 event: Our exhaustive roundup.

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