In a significant shift, Amazon has decided to place its free Alexa Guard security features behind a paywall. Alexa Guard, a do-it-yourself security feature for Echo devices, was designed to listen for potential intruders or household alarms when users were not at home. This move by Amazon means that many of the features that were once free will now come at a cost.
Key Changes and Features:
- Amazon recently communicated to its customers that certain features of Alexa Guard, such as smoke and CO alarm detection, will be transitioned to its new service called “Emergency Assist.” This service will be available at a subscription cost of $5.99 per month or $59 per year.
- However, some features of Alexa Guard will remain free. These include the “home and away” modes, which allow users to arm and disarm their Ring alarm, and “away lighting,” which turns on lights to give the impression that someone is at home.
- Other features, like the detection of the sound of breaking glass, will necessitate an Emergency Assist subscription in the near future.
- For Ring Protect Pro customers who have connected their Ring and Alexa accounts by September 20th, 2023, they will be able to access Alexa Emergency Assist for free, but only until October 31st, 2024.
- It’s also worth noting that the $5.99 subscription fee for Emergency Assist is an introductory offer. This offer will end on January 8th, 2024. After this date, the $5.99 subscription will be exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay a monthly fee starting at $14.99. The pricing details for non-Prime subscribers will be announced later in the year.
Implications for Users:
This move by Amazon is indicative of a broader trend where tech companies are shifting from offering free features to introducing subscription-based models. For users, this means evaluating the value they derive from these features and deciding whether they are worth the subscription cost.
- Amazon’s Alexa Guard features, which were previously free, will now come at a cost under the new Emergency Assist subscription.
- Some features will remain free, while others will require a subscription.
- The introductory subscription price for Emergency Assist is $5.99, which will later be exclusive to Amazon Prime members.
Points to Ponder:
- How will this change impact the overall user experience of Alexa device owners?
- Will this move by Amazon encourage other tech companies to follow suit and introduce charges for previously free features?
- How will Amazon’s loyal customer base react to this change, and will it influence their future purchasing decisions?
For those interested in delving deeper into this topic, the full article can be found here.