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Smart Home

Alexa can now announce a person or package sighting

Stay in-the-know with home security help from Alexa

A person pressing a Ring Video Doorbell Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

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A new Alexa feature can tell you when a person or package crosses the view of one of your compatible security cameras or video doorbells. Once enabled, you’ll receive Alexa person and package detection alerts via push notifications and audible announcements on Echo smart speakers.

If you have an Echo Show smart display, a Fire TV stick, or Fire tablet, the camera’s live stream will appear on the screen when it detects a person or package.

Alexa’s person detection announcement feature is available for all Ring video doorbells and home security cameras that work with Alexa. Plans are in the works to make person detection announcements compatible with Google Nest and Abode Iota cameras and doorbells in the near future.

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Support for Alexa package announcements is more limited. You may remember when Ring pushed out package alerts for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 and the Ring Video Doorbell (2020 release) last year.

Now, both models support Alexa package announcements. Currently, these are the only two Ring doorbells capable of package detection. Alexa package detection announcements will be available for Abode Iota indoor and outdoor cameras down the road, but not Google Nest doorbells or cameras.

The new package/person feature also works with Alexa routines, which you can set up in the Alexa app. For example, your Alexa routine could trigger your smart outdoor floodlight to turn on or lock the front door (if you have a smart lock) when your camera or doorbell spots a person or package delivery.

There are a few things to know before you can get person/package announcements from Alexa. First, you must enable the settings in the Alexa app, available for iOS and Android. Second, if alerts for person and packages live behind a paid plan, as they are with Ring cameras, then you’ll need a Ring Protect Plan (starting at $3/month).

Abode cameras also require a subscription plan to use this feature. On the flip side, Google Nest devices can detect people and packages (as well as vehicles and animals) for free.

Google Nest Cam indoor sitting in a room.
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Soon, Alexa will be able to tell you when there's a person at your Google Nest video doorbell or indoor camera (pictured).

The news comes as the excitement begins to build for Matter, a smart home protocol dedicated to bridging the divide between Apple, Google, and Amazon. Previously, the only Google Nest device supported by Alexa and the Amazon Echo ecosystem was the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Amazon didn’t give a timeline for when the person announcements would be available on Abode and Google Nest devices. A quick look in the Alexa app shows Nest cams listed as supported devices, but you can’t add them just yet (we tried). This is a good indication that the feature will be more widely available to Abode and Nest cameras sometime soon. For now, you can try out Alexa person and package announcements with your Ring cameras, so long as you have a Ring Protect Plan.

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