The Echo Show, also called Alexa Show, is a new smart speaker under the Amazon Echo line of products, designed around Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa.
In addition to the usual smart speaker functions, the device also includes a touchscreen display.
Since it also has a built-in wide-angle camera, can Alexa Show function as a home security cam, too?
You can use Alexa Show as a security camera if you have a compatible model. Only the newer Alexa Show models have the Home Monitoring feature, which allows you to get a live feed of the camera’s field of view. However, the device won’t record footage and won’t give you alerts for detected motion.
This article will give you a few facts about Alexa Show’s Home Monitoring feature.
I will also talk about how you can activate this security camera function and use the device’s built-in camera to see what’s going on inside your house in real-time.
How Can You Use an Alexa Show as a Security Camera?
To use your Amazon Echo Show or Alexa Show as a security camera, follow these steps:
1. Make Sure You Have a Compatible Amazon Echo Show Model
The security camera function is made possible through Amazon’s brand-new Home Monitoring feature. So older Echo Show models may not support it.
At first, it was only the third-generation Echo Show 10 that had this feature. However, with a recent update, the second-generation Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 can now access this setting, too.
However, older Echo Show models can still use the Drop In function as a manual option to activate the camera.
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2. Activate the Home Monitoring Feature on Your Echo Show
Make sure to fully update your Alexa app to get the Home Monitoring function.
This feature, however, is enabled directly through your Alexa Show or Echo Show device and not through the mobile app.
To toggle the Home Monitoring feature on, drag your finger or swipe down from the top of your Echo Show’s screen, tap Settings, and tap Camera.
Slide the toggle of the Home Monitoring option to the On position. This action will enable the feature.
Once your Home Monitoring feature is enabled, you can remotely access your Echo Show’s camera through your Alexa app.
That means you can view what your Echo Show’s camera captures on your mobile device or smartphone, regardless of your location.
3. Tap Into Your Echo Show’s Camera
Open the Alexa app on your smartphone or mobile device. Select Devices or the house-shaped icon found on the bottom menu.
With the Home Monitoring feature enabled, you’ll have the option to select Cameras. Click on the name of your Echo Show or, if you have several Echo Show devices at home, click on the one you wish to use as a security camera.
Doing this will link up your app and phone screen to your Echo Show. You can then see the feed in real-time.
What Else To Know About Alexa Show’s Security Cam Feature
Here are additional facts you need to know about Amazon’s Echo Show:
1. Echo Show Can’t Record Video Footage
There are limitations to using your Echo Show as a security camera.
Unlike dedicated security cams in a traditional home security system, the Echo Show does not record video footage then store them in the cloud or its internal memory.
That means you can only see live video and cannot review the footage at a later time.
As such, the security camera function is only good while you’re watching the feed. Otherwise, you can’t tell if something happens at home and how it happened.
2. Echo Show Has Motion Sensor, but You Won’t Get Alerts
The new Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show Kids have a motion detection sensor that can figure out when a person is in the room.
This feature would have been useful with the Home Monitoring function if you get notifications once it detects someone inside your home. But you won’t.
The good thing, however, is that you can make an Alexa app routine based on this person detection capability. You can set up this routine so that a set of commands are fired off, activating your other smart home devices.
For example, you can create a routine wherein your lights and thermostat will automatically turn on once a person is detected inside your home.
Or, when you are out on vacation, you can have the alarm system sound off and alert authorities regarding a possible break-in.
3. Echo Show 10 Is the Best Model for Security Cam Function
The Echo Show 10 is the best Echo Show model to use for the Home Monitoring or security camera function because it allows you to zoom and pan the room left to right as you view the video remotely.
The Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation) has a motorized base that allows the 13-megapixel wide-angle camera to follow you, or whoever is at home, around the room.
Imagine making a video call using your Echo Show and the camera keeps you centered on the screen even as you move around the room.
4. You Can Add Video Delay or Audio Alert
If you are using your Echo Show to remotely check in on the people at home, like your kids and the babysitter, yet still want to protect their privacy, you can give them a signal that you’ve turned on the camera, so they are aware that they’re being watched.
You can either turn on the Video Delay toggle, which will blur the video for the first few seconds. This would allow the people in front of the camera to first react to being watched suddenly.
Another option is to turn on the Audio Alert toggle on the screen. With this setting, your Echo Show will play a sound when it starts streaming.
This function allows people on the other end to know that you are watching a live camera feed that stars them.
5. Use Drop In for Older Echo Show
If you have an old Echo Show model that does not support Amazon’s Home Monitoring feature, you can still use it as a security camera through the Drop In option.
Doing the drop-in call option allows you to activate the Echo Show’s camera so you could see what’s going on at home.
The Drop In function is still quite the same as the Home Monitoring, but this one will also show a video of you on the Echo Show’s screen.
In other words, unlike Home Monitoring, a drop-in call lets the other person know you’re checking on them because they can also see you.
6. You Can Pair Your Echo Show With a Legit Security Cam
You now know the limitations of your Echo Show as a security camera, so if you want to enjoy more features that it can’t provide, like video recording, then connect it to a legit security cam.
By pairing your security cam with your Echo Show, you can view your cam’s footage on the Echo Show’s screen by simply asking Alexa.
Of course, this pairing works when you’re inside the house, right in front of your Echo Show, while your security cam is in another part of the house.
When you’re not home, you can view your security cam’s footage through your smartphone.
Learn more: Can Alexa be hacked?
Here’s how connecting your security cam to your Echo Show looks like:
Amazon Echo Show or Alexa Show is a useful and powerful device to add to your smart home. And because it has a built-in camera, you can use it to check in on your home while you’re away.
You can remotely activate this camera through the Home Monitoring feature, which is available in newer models, or through the Drop In feature if you have an older model.
However, Echo Show’s security camera function has limitations. For one, it cannot record footage and give you notifications the way a full-featured security camera can.