Alexa, I Need Help – What to Do | You Should Listen To This

August 8th, 2017

Topics: Consumerization of IT Internet of Things

In this episode of Talking Tech from USA Today, Jefferson Graham explores how the amazon based personal assistant, Alexa, can be used for emergency help.

One news story from New Mexico claimed that a woman was saved from robbery after calling for Alexa to call 911. However, it was later revealed by Amazon themselves that Alexa does not yet have the capabilities to call law enforcement. There is one way for Amazon echo to make calls but that can only be to another echo device, which means law enforcement would also need to have Amazon echo, something which is not yet universal.

But there is a feature on Alexa called “Call my buddy”, which when prompted will call your pre-selected buddy. You can even phrase the command as, “Alexa, ask my buddy for help.”, which is Amazon’s way of getting around law enforcement’s rule of calling 9-1-1 – where the device that called must also be able to accept a call back from law enforcement, which Alexa cannot yet do.

But as Alexa becomes smarter and quicker, we can expect Amazon to add more functionalities to the personal assistant and make it easier for someone to seek help.

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