Some Echo speakers can now detect people

Echo Dot speakers just got the ability to detect if there’s motion in a room. | Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Starting this week, newer Echo and Echo Dot speakers can use ultrasound to detect occupancy in your home and turn on and off other connected devices such as lights or your Fire TV. First mentioned at Amazon’s fall hardware event in September, the Echo and Echo Dot fourth-gen speakers can now emit an “inaudible ultrasound wave” to detect if there are people present in a room.

You can enable or disable this feature in the Alexa app, where you can also set up occupancy routines to use this new capability to do things like turn on lights when you enter a room and then off again when the room is empty. You could also have Alexa play music or a radio station when motion is detected near an Echo device during a set time and then shut down the…

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Author: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy