First announced last year, Alexa Guard is a feature for the Echo smart speaker lineup that transforms Alexa-enabled devices into a smart home security system. The free service uses Alexa devices to detect disturbances in the home and sends users alerts via their mobile device.
The latest version of the service is called Guard Plus. Rolling out this fall, Guard Plus is designed to make the Alexa Guard experience more seamless. New features include the ability to call an emergency helpline through an Alexa device without the use of a cellular connection or mobile phone. The service can also play a warning sound, like dogs barking, if the Echo device is placed in Away Mode and a potential intruder is detected.
Guard Plus will also support integrations with home security providers including A3 Smart Home, Abode, Resideo, Ring, Scout Alarm, and Wyze. Guard Plus will be available for free for one month, and then cost $4.99 per month after that or $49 per year.
Switching over to Amazon's Ring security portfolio, the company announced that it will offer end-to-end encryption for videos on Ring devices by the end of this year.
The $59.99 Ring Car Alarm plugs into a vehicle's OBD port and monitors for impacts, break-ins, and tows. An alert is sent to users if anything is detected. For connectivity, the Car Alarm utilizes Amazon's new Sidewalk network, which aims to extend the working range of low-bandwidth devices, enabling limited offline connectivity for uses such as motion alerts from security cameras.
The Ring Car Cam sells for $199.99 and is essentially a security camera for cars. Sensors monitor for bumps and attempted break-ins, and dual-facing HD cameras offer a live view of what's happening in and around the vehicle through either wifi or optional LTE.
In addition, Car Cam can automatically alert emergency responders if a serious crash is detected. The system also has a feature called "Traffic Stop" that allows users to say "Alexa, I'm being pulled over" and the camera will immediately start recording and save the footage to the cloud.
The Ring Always Home Cam is a small, autonomous indoor drone that will fly to predetermined areas of the home, offering users multiple viewpoints of the home while they're away. The $249 Home Cam only records when in flight, the company said.