Alexa Guard with Iris
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15 posts in this topic

@Scunny pointed out to me that Amazon will be adding Alexa Guard to their line up of skills this fall.  I am looking forward to this as a second layer of security to be used in conjunction with Iris.  It is a great concept.  I have various Alexa devices spread throughout the house.  You tell Alexa that you are leaving and it listens for sounds of burglary, glass breaking and smoke/CO alarms etc. and calls you when it hears this. It will also randomize turning on lights to make it look like someone is at home.   I for one am looking forward to using this skill.  You can read more here:

https://www.androidcentral.com/what-amazon-alexa-guard 

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I've been watching for more news on Alexa Guard. I don't find anything new, and interestingly, Amazon seems to have pulled the original press release (see the dead link in the article excerpt below). One writer has raised an interesting question: Will this be a "free-standing" feature, or will a home monitoring partner such as ADT be required?

From CEPro:

"Welcome to the new era of voice assistants as security and wellness tools, starting with Amazon’s Alexa Guard, a service that recognizes and reacts to three distinct sounds (for now): smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and breaking glass.

Announced yesterday, Alexa Guard will send an alert when one of these sounds is detected, although it is unclear if Amazon would alert users directly through an Alexa app or only through third-party solutions providers." https://www.cepro.com/article/amazon_new_alexa_guard_sound_recognition_security_adt#

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15 hours ago, Wlepse said:

If this happens it might convince me to roll more Alexa devices through the home, right now I am split between Alexa and Google Home.

I just started testing the Google devices this week because I was attracted to the room-based grouping of devices with the Google Home Hub. I'm still testing and will report back, but so far, it has been nice to be able to control all the lights in a particular room without having to write two Iris Scenes (XRoom Lights On and XRoom Lights Off) for every room in the house. Alexa may have this capability with its Groups and Routines, but it seems as cumbersome as the Iris option.

What are your thoughts on a comparison of the Alexa vs. Google systems?

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On 11/26/2018 at 9:19 PM, pavalov said:

What are your thoughts on a comparison of the Alexa vs. Google systems?

I use both and in my opinion Alexa has a slight edge over Google.  The reason I say this is I hear Google respond with "I don't know how to help with that yet, but I'm trying to learn" more often than not.

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I've found two things I like better about the Google Home Hub:

1) I can see my commands typed out on the screen as I say them, so I can quickly correct errors in how it heard me.

2) The room-centric smart home controls work more the way my wife approaches device control. She hates having to remember all the Iris device names. In contrast, the room groupings are intuitive. You simply say the name of the room you're in and tell it lights on. Simple. Neat. I find myself using it over the Alexa serial commands (Alexa has never worked well with my Iris Scenes.)

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I have been happy with Alexa and recently with the routines it has gotten even better.  Smartthings integrates well with Alexa.  You can trigger a routine in Smartthings with a switch and you can create simulated switches.  These switches are discovered by Alexa and as far as it is concerned it is just a switch, but they do nothing.  So my routine to shut off all lights, lock the doors and close my garage doors in Smartthings can be triggered now by saying Alexa, Goodnight.   Alexa just toggles the simulated switch since Alexa won't allow you to run routines with Garage doors or locks.

I wish Iris would add something similar.  I use Iris in my shop, so my Alexa goodnight routine can turn off switches in the shop, but I can not close the garage doors.

I also like the room feature of Alexa.  You don't need to remember the room name, you just say turn on or turn off lights.   When you assign a device to a group that device will only control  the lights in that room.  

The last update also said they have added location services to Alexa, I haven't tried using that yet and I am not sure how well it will work.  The use case example they gave in the announcement was to tell Alexa to turn on a light when you are a block from the house.

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6 hours ago, Terminal said:

I also like the room feature of Alexa.  You don't need to remember the room name, you just say turn on or turn off lights.   When you assign a device to a group that device will only control  the lights in that room.  

I wanted to like this feature, but they just didn't take it far enough. I will admit I have not messed with it in a while, so maybe they have improved it, but it seemed like it only worked with the word "light". For instance, I have multiple rooms that each have their own echo dot, overhead light, ceiling fan, table lamp, and television... all controllable via alexa. Yet, when I group them by room I can not turn on the lamp, TV, or ceiling fan without stating the full name of the device. It only worked with "light". 

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One feature I would like to see on Alexa is time delayed actions such as;

'Alexa turn off kitchen light in 5 minutes' 

'Alexa turn driveway lights on at 5 pm' 

'Alexa turn Christmas lights on at sunset' 

'Alexa turn on <whatever> for x number of minutes'

Yes you can schedule actions like these in Iris but for one time or infrequent actions this would be easier I think.

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On 12/17/2018 at 12:41 AM, scunny said:

There's an update in the Alexa settings to request Guard. Looks like they are rolling it out on a limited basis.

I can't find the request, maybe I don't have it.  A little help finding it pleas?

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