The next time one of your security cams sees a visitor at your door or a package being delivered, Alexa can be the first to tell you.
Alexa person and package detection announcements are rolling out now, according to Amazon, and the feature will also include the ability to automatically view a live camera feed on your Echo Show, Fire TV, or Fire Tablet whenever a person or package is detected. You’ll also get mobile notifications from the Alexa app.
The new feature isn’t limited to Ring video doorbells and security cameras. Thanks to Amazon’s new Alexa Object Detection Sensor API, Alexa’s spoken camera notifications can also work with other Alexa-compatible cams, even those from Google (it’s easy to forget that there is, in fact, a Google skill for Alexa).
Alexa person plus package announcements are out now for the 2020 Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, and coming “soon” to Abode’s Iota and Outdoor cams.
Meanwhile, Alexa person-only announcements are available on all other Ring Video Doorbells and cameras. Later, they’ll also be enabled for the Google Nest Cam (including the outdoor and both wired and battery-powered indoors versions), the Nest Cam with floodlight, and the battery-powered Nest Doorbell.
Besides Abode and Google, other manufacturers will be able to bake in Alexa camera announcements using the new API, provided that their Alexa-enabled cameras support the H.264 video codec and offer at least 720p video resolution.
To get Alexa person and package announcements, your camera might require a subscription that includes person/people detection. For Ring, that means signing up for Ring Protect, which includes person and package detection starting at $3 a month or $30 a year, while Abode’s plans start at $7 a month. Google doesn’t charge anything for basic people detection, but you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription to tap the company’s more advanced algorithms.
You can enable Alexa person and package announcements from the Alexa app; just navigate to your camera by tapping Devices > Cameras, then toggle on the Person Detection Announcements and/or Package Detection Announcements settings.
Updated shortly after publication with two corrections: Alexa people and package detection announcements are (for now) only coming to the Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, and Adobe Iota and Outdoor cams. Also, cams by smart brands in the Works with Alexa program will not be getting Alexa camera announcements, as the original story stated. Our apologies for the errors.