There’s a whole new reason to own Amazon’s Echo, because the Alexa Voice Service might be able call 911, even in situations that apparently don’t feature commands stating “Alexa” first, “Alexa, call the cops,” or “Alexa, call 911.” According to the New York Post, a woman was rescued by police when her 28-year-old boyfriend, Eduardo Barros, allegedly started to beat her and waved around a gun.
Confusion exists about how Alexa was actually able to call 911, reports Mashable, because even with Amazon’s new Echo voice-calling features that came out in May (which allow for smartphone contacts to be called via Alexa devices), one would still need to say, “Alexa, call 911,” “Alexa, call police,” or something to that effect. The police report only caused more confusion, calling the Alexa-enabled Echo device a “Google Smart Radio,” which reportedly heard Eduardo ask his girlfriend if she called the “sheriffs,” which caused Alexa to call 911. Alexa was reportedly connected to a stereo system to allow Barros to answer the phone throughout the house. It isn’t known what model of the Echo Barros owned. What is known is that Alexa somehow miraculously called the police.
“Did you call the sheriffs?”
After Eduardo asked the unnamed girlfriend if she had called the “sheriffs,” a question that some Alexa Voice Service owners might not realize would be enough for the Echo device to recognize and act upon, police came a-calling. The above photo of Barros from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office prove that Barros’s question about calling the authorities was understood and acted upon by Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, at least according to authorities.
— Jewhadi™ (@JewhadiTM) July 10, 2017
Barros became angry with his girlfriend while the duo house-sat with a child in a home in Tijeras, which is located approximately 15 miles east of Albuquerque. Barros was enraged after the woman received a text message that caused Barros to think she was cheating on him. Barros told the woman she could not go anywhere and kicked her in the stomach and face. The woman feared for her life, afraid Eduardo would shoot and kill her. Barros feared going back to prison since he was a convicted felon, but the woman and her daughter were rescued when a SWAT team arrived.
Amazon’s Alexa Voice System is being credited with saving the woman’s life. It isn’t known if the Bernalillo County Sheriff was one of the contacts in the phone that called cops via the Alexa Voice System or what model of Echo reportedly called 911. What is known is that 911 was called, and the woman and her daughter were saved.
Officials: Amazon Alexa smart speaker made the call that may have saved a life – Mashable https://t.co/KeklMnGtZq
— Industry 4.0 (@industryfouroh) July 10, 2017
[Featured Image by Bernalillo County Sheriff/AP Images]