(Pocket-lint) - Honeywell's new Home Security Base Station not only does a range of clever and intelligent things on its own, but also has Alexa built in giving you plenty more options. Here's why when you add the two together you get way more than the sum of their parts.
Having Alexa built-in offers so much more than the convenience of hands-free control. Sure, you can ask it 'when did the Mongols rule China?' and set timers for poaching eggs, but from a peace-of-mind point of view, it can connect to a wide range of home security cameras via the Honeywell Home Security Base Station.
If you need to check in on the baby room, or make sure nothing untoward is going on while you're away you can instantly check that everything’s OK by saying: “Alexa, show me Charlie's room," for example, and the camera will show you what it sees on your phone in the app.
Thanks to its free face recognition software, Honeywell's Smart Home Security Base Station can recognise familiar faces and notify you when they arrive home. Unlike most facial recognition systems, Honeywell lets you schedule when you're alerted, so you can get a quick alert when the kids get home from school on time, and not be bombarded with alerts for everyday comings and goings which is really handy.
Obviously, if the wide-angle 1080p camera does spot a stranger - at any time of day or night - you’ll get an instant alert and a video clip will be sent to your smartphone.
Control more with less
These days, you're spoiled for choice with the number of compatible Alexa enables smart home gadgets available, meaning whichever Alexa device you choose, you've already got an impressive home security hub, just waiting to go.
Honeywell's Home Security Base Station is already Z-Wave and IFTTT compatible, so you can ask it to turn on as you leave the house, adjust smart lighting, control the thermostat, even monitor for leaks if you run the washing machine while at work, all without pressing a button.
And if you also have one if the latest video-based Alexa gadgets such as the Echo Show or Echo Spot you can also view security camera footage - both recorded and real-time - on the screen, and have alerts pop up with an instant video clip.
Honeywell's face recognition software and hi-res cameras will tell you when someone gets home safe, but having Alexa built in means you can also tell them to feed the dog and get the dinner started! Known as Alexa Calling, you can make calls to any compatible Alexa device and leave messages or chat all for free using the Alexa app (iOS, Android). You can also simply Drop In on other Alexa devices at home (Echo if you want video calling) to ask questions or have a quick conversation with someone upstairs. Beats having to shout "Dinner's ready" up the stairs.
Protection and privacy
Nobody wants to feel spied upon in their own home, which is why Honeywell's Total Connect App (iOS, Android) utilises the latest geofencing technology to automatically turn off any smart home cameras and sensors when you return home.
The Home Security Base Station also comes with a privacy ring which covers the camera and stops unnecessary motion alerts when you are at home, but don’t think this reduces the protection on offer as you can trigger the ear-splitting 90dB alarm at any time you need.
If you want something a little subtler, pick one of the many Alexa Skills to protect your home, like the one that makes your Honeywell Home Security Base Station bark like a dog. It also means you can access thousands of skills or commands like "Sing Happy Birthday" and "What's on TV tonight?" making it much more than just a device that will keep you home safe.
The Honeywell Home Security Base Station comes with Amazon Music access meaning when the system isn't monitoring your home, it can be entertaining you with access to millions of tracks all at a command of your voice.
Alexa Security skills
Alexa has a number of dedicated skills designed specifically with security in mind, making your home more protected.