The rise of Alexa and smart home devices may bring about an earlier than expected decline in the demand for housesitters. The devices are now in over 30% of US homes – up from just 8% three years ago – and the trend is sure to follow in other countries.
Now the release of a new Alexa feature, Alexa Guard allows owners of smart home devices to have them monitor the house while they are away. Alexa Guard can listen out for the sound of smoke and fire alarms, breaking glass and other noises that could signal something has gone awry at home. If such a sound is heard, Alexa Guard will send a text alert to your phone to let you know. And if you have a video-enabled device, you can remotely access the camera and see what’s going on for yourself.
Equally, Alexa Guard can connect to and control other smart home devices such as smart light bulbs to turn lights on and off at different times of the day, making it look like someone is home. There are now also Alexa compatible home security systems which can alert the alarm company, police or fire service when something is wrong.
But housesitters needn’t worry too much yet. While Alexa Guard may be great for homes without pets, we are (hopefully) a long way off Alexa being able to take completely care of the furry members of the family while the humans are away.