Amazon Echo Show Gets Smarter, Adds IC Realtime, Other Smart Home Camera Skills
Ah, now the Amazon Echo Show makes sense. Amazon's smart home 'device with a screen' gains IC Realtime compatibility along with other smart home security/surveillance camera feeds like August Home and Netgear.
The announcement is the result of a development project wherein IC Realtime’s R&D team worked with Amazon’s camera API to integrate more than 100 existing IC Realtime surveillance cameras to enable live video to stream to the Echo Show.
“The ability to share video from our security cameras via the Cloud to Echo Show is a prime example of today’s ‘Smart Home’ graduating to an ‘Internet of Things Smart Home,’” says Matt Sailor, CEO, IC Realtime. “IC Realtime and its parent company IC Real Tech continue to bring to market innovative ways for people to capture and interact with their video surveillance — from crime/forensics to 360-degree lifestyle video.”
Locations in the home where security cameras are commonly placed include nursery rooms, entertainment and living rooms, front/side/back doors, garages, pool areas and more.
IC Realtime Connects to Amazon Echo Show Through ICMyCloud
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.
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, says Chris Callaway, technical manager of software integration, IC Realtime.
IC Realtime’s Echo Show compatible cameras connect through ICMyCloud, a cloud storage service IC Realtime has offered subscribers for several years. ICMyCloud grants users in home and business settings the ability to stream and record high-definition video footage from their IC Realtime cameras as often as 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“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.’”
Other Smart Home Camera Compatibility: August Home and Netgear
August Home has also announced that Amazon Alexa now talks to the August Doorbell Cam. August Doorbell Cam users can ask, “Alexa, show me the front door,” to quickly watch live video of visitors or motion outside the door on any Amazon Echo Show.
“It’s great to delight customers by adding value to the products they already own and rely on as part of their daily lives. We added the ability to control the August Smart Lock with Alexa earlier this year, which has been extremely popular,” says Jason Johnson, CEO, August Home. “With the expansion of our Amazon Alexa skill, we are making it easier for our customers to control their Doorbell Cam. Now they can display video of visitors outside their door using their voice.”
The ability to control the August Doorbell Cam with Alexa is available immediately through the August Smart Home skill by pairing the August Doorbell Cam within the Alexa app.
Netgear is also introducing voice commands for its Arlo family of smart security cameras through the Amazon Echo Show.
Arlo devices that currently support the Alexa 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, 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."
Sample commands in the Arlo Skill set include:
- "Alexa, show me the front door."
- "Alexa, show me the baby room."
- "Alexa, hide the baby room."
- "Alexa, go home."
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]
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