Amazon Alexa users can now issue Canary voice commands

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  • Canary video security systems are now available as a Skill in the Amazon Alexa app.
  • Using Alexa, you can issue voice commands to show Canary video feeds on your Amazon Echo hardware.
  • Only certain systems on certain firmware will work for now.

As smart homes get even smarter and video surveillance systems get even cheaper, more people are going to expect their security systems to also be smart. Google Assistant already works well with Nest video surveillance cameras, but since Google owns Nest that makes sense. Today though, Amazon Alexa works with third-party security company Canary, opening up lots of new possibilities for smart home security.

If you own a Canary video unit as well as an Amazon Echo Show, Echo Spot, or compatible Fire TVs, you can now issue voice commands to Alexa and control your video system. For example, you could say, “Alexa, show me the garage door,” and the live video feed of your garage door camera would instantly appear on your Echo Show screen.

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However, there are some limitations. First off, Alexa commands will only work on Canary All-in-One and Canary View devices running firmware v3.0.0 or higher and on Canary Flex devices running firmware v2.3.0 or higher. If you were one of the original Indiegogo backers of Canary devices, that means you might not be able to use these voice command features. Also, any Canary device that is set to “Private” will not be able to stream video.

The voice commands are a Skill for Alexa to learn, and as such get set up like any other Alexa Skill. Open the Amazon Alexa app and navigate to Skills and enable the Canary skill. You’ll be asked for your Canary credentials to authenticate ownership, and then run through a series of prompts. And that’s it! You can now ask Alexa to show you any of your Canary live feeds using only your voice.

Canary launched in 2013 with one of the most successful Indiegogo campaigns in the site’s history, earning over $1.9 million in one month, pre-selling 10,000 devices to customers in 78 countries. Since then, it has expanded its product line and introduced a premium membership plan that gives users cloud access to recorded video history as well as emergency response assistance.

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