Alexa Will Tell You When Your Video Doorbell Sees a Visitor or Delivery
Alexa has a new feature that allows the voice assistant to perform the role of a doorman. People or deliveries spotted by connected video doorbells and security cameras will now be announced by Alexa, including live video on Echo Shows and Fire TVs. A new object detection API released simultaneously allows the feature to work with Google Nest and Abode devices, as well as Amazon’s Ring brand, with more brands to follow.
The Alexa announcements take advantage of the pasive observance of the camera in video doorbells and security cameras. Alexa already sends an alert and pulls up live video when someone pushes the button of a Ring doorbell. This just anticipates the event and extends to package deliveries. The feature is available with any Ring device already. The setting has to be activated for the camera, then switched on in the Alexa app in the same settings menu for motion detection and doorbell announcements.
Nest and Abode camera option using the new Object Detection Sensor API will roll out soon. The API allows any manufacturer of relevant cameras to incorporate the Alexa announcement, although there may be payment required for the feature. For instance, Ring’s person detection requires a $3 a month Ring Protect plan, while Abode’s security subscriptions start at $7 a month. Any device certified in the Works with Alexa program can embed the API in their device. Regardless of the camera, users can make the alert part of an Alexa Routine, so that the porch lights come on when the alert is sent, or locking the door if it happens in the middle of the night.
“We are using the Alexa Object Detection Sensor API to enable our customers to extend the capabilities of their Abode cameras, and be notified when they are in their houses when an object of interest is identified,” Abode CTO Scott Beck said. “We have always had the ability to notify customers with notifications on their phones, but this API allows us to extend this functionality into the house so customers can hear when a package has been delivered or see and talk to the person identified at their front door.”