FIRST IT was Amazon Alexa holding vital evidence in a murder trial. Now, another smart home device has chosen to enforce the law and called the police automatically during a domestic disturbance.
ABC News reports that a couple who got into an argument on Sunday night that became physical. Eduardo Barros, his girlfriend and her daughter were house sitting at an address at Tijeras, just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Barros pulled a gun and threatened to kill his girlfriend asking "Did you call the sheriffs?". She hadn't. But a device, originally described as a Google Home wired up to the home hi-fi, heard the question and took it as an order, and the next thing, the Sheriff's department really did turn up and remove the mother and daughter.
After a stand-off lasting several hours, Barros was taken into custody by a SWAT team.
"The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life. This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation," Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III said in a statement to ABC News.
Barros is facing charges of possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, aggravated battery against a household member, aggravated assault against a household member and false imprisonment.
At his court appearance last Wednesday, the judge determined probable cause of his arrest, with prosecutors filing a motion for preventative detention, meaning he will be held without bond. Which is a posh way of saying "no bail".
He is yet to submit a plea.
In the original report, a Google Home was credited with the save, but given that it was wired up to a surround sound system, we'd say it's more likely to have been an Amazon Echo Dot as that's one of the few devices that can hook easily into your home system without lots of mucking about. µ
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