The Amazon Echo Show combines voice control and video to create a new way of interacting with your smart home products. One of the most likely of smart home devices to benefit from this union of voice control and video streaming is the home security camera. Just as you would use the Amazon Echo Show to watch YouTube, see music lyrics, view weather forecasts and conduct hands-free video calls, you can now also command it to stream real-time video from security cameras.
A few of the first of what will likely be many security cameras manufactures to integrate products into the Amazon Echo Show platform are IC Realtime, Netgear Arlo, Nest, and Ring. Security ameras from these companies had always been able to steam video to mobile devices, but the integration of Alexa and Amazon Echo Show means you will no longer need to navigate an app or have your mobile device in hand each time you wish to view footage from a camera. Instead, you just tell Alexa which camera you want to see and the video pops up on the Echo screen.
Because the Amazon Alexa architecture is primarily Internet-connected, a requirement of the Amazon integration is that connectivity of cameras must take place through a back-end cloud service, according to
IC Realtime technical manager of software integration Chris Callaway. He offers this example of how the cloud becomes involved: The ICMyCloud camera works with Echo Show the following way: “The Alexa ‘skill’ pulls the ‘Camera Name’ you’ve assigned within ICMyCloud,” says Callaway. “Let’s say for example you have named a camera for the Nursery. You simply say, ‘Alexa, Show the Nursery camera.’ Alexa would respond with ‘OK, showing Nursery camera’ and begin its stream. When you are finished, you would simply instruct Alexa to ‘Hide my Camera.’”
“The effort between IC Realtime and Amazon represents professionally-installed products integrating with Do-it-Yourself products. It’s also a prime example of today’s Smart Home graduating to an Internet of Things Smart Home.”
IC Realtime CEO Matt Sailor
The cloud component also enables the cameras from IC Realtime, Netgear, and Ring to record and store video remotely in a secure cloud-based locker. You can access and view this video via the Amazon Echo Show at any time via voice command. In addition to viewing what’s happening in and around your house as the action unfolds, you can review what happened while you were gone.
IC Realtime models compatible with Echo Show include the brand’s suite of ‘ICIP’ series IP cameras (68 models in total) as well as dozens of its Standard- and High-Definition cameras that work in conjunction with an IC Realtime digital video recorder.
Netgear Arlo security cameras that currently support the Arlo Skill include:
- Arlo Wire-Free (Model VMC3030, VMS3x30)
- Arlo Q (Model VMC3040)
- Arlo Pro (Model VMC4030, VMS4x30)
- Arlo Go (Model VML4030)
- Arlo Baby (Model ABC1000)
“Alexa makes a natural companion to Arlo, and vice-versa,” says Pat Collins, senior vice president of Arlo products at Netgear. “Netgear has always emphasized the ease-of-use in our products, and the support of Alexa voice commands through the Arlo Skill makes it easier than ever to view your Arlo security video recordings. We’re excited that our customers will be able to call up their video recordings anytime, hands-free, to display on the Amazon Echo Show screen. It’s bringing us one step closer to the Jetsons-style home.”
The Amazon Echo Show features a 7-inch touchscreen, dual Dolby optimized speakers, video-calling and a front-facing camera. It retails for $230. Add a camera like the Arlo Pro for $170, and your investment is $400.
Other manufactures expected to offer cameras compatible with Amazon Echo Show are Vivint, August, Amcrest, EZViz, Logitech, and Petzi
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