Amazon has been pushing Alexa skills to more developers lately. The company opened up the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit to all third-party device makers last month. Amazon has now opened up Alexa's home security features to the whole developer community. This essentially means more alarm and security camera manufacturers can now add the digital assistant’s functions to their products.
Amazon recently released the Security Panel Controller API for Alexa to the public, allowing more companies onboard. Manufacturers can now access the code required to let users control their devices with voice commands. The functionality, however, will be initially available in the US only. In fact, certain models made by Abode, ADT, Honeywell, Ring and Scout are already leveraging it.
If you own a home security system from one of these companies, you can now control it through voice commands. To do so, you first need to download your relevant company’s skill from the Alexa app’s store. You can then arm, disarm, or check the status of your home security via voice commands. While arming and monitoring your system through voice is great, disarming the system may not be. Amazon is well aware of this security implication and rightly needs you to meet some extra conditions to enable disarming by voice.
First, you have to manually enable disarming by voice in the Alexa app or in your security system’s menus. Then, depending on your security system, you can choose your existing PIN or an Alexa-specific voice code to disarm the system. If your system lets you, choosing the latter could be better than shouting your PIN code to everyone within earshot.
While voice controlling your home security system may lead to some security implications, Amazon believes its user-specific voice recognition technology is secure enough. But do you trust the company enough use the feature? Tell us in the comments below.