Amazon Echo's new Alexa skill 'Away Mode' can scare off burglars

The new Alex skill 'Away Mode' is developed by Hippo Insurance
The new Alex skill 'Away Mode' is developed by Hippo Insurance.

Prior to Amazon Echo, using consumer electronics such as light bulb and air conditioners was mundane. We had to physically turn the products on and off, but with the former's advent, it has become more convenient. We can now operate them using our voice and can even order products online and listen to millions of songs. And now, Amazon is about to take the Echo to a whole new level.

Remember the funny plot of Home Alone (1990) movie where an eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) succeeds using movie cardboards, radio recordings and loud dialogues of a movie to fool thieves. Now, it seems like Amazon Echo smart speaker series has just got this amazing skill that can thwart potential burglary attempts.

The newly introduced 'Away Mode' skill is developed by Hippo Insurance in collaboration with A-listed comedy writers of Saturday Night Live, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Upright Citizens Brigade. It is said to create a real-life conversation between family and friends, and create an illusion that there are people deterring criminals from breaking into the house.

"Hippo was looking for a way to engage a broad audience in a conversation about home security and home insurance. We figured it was easier to drive awareness and education through humour, so we brought on some of the funniest people we know to pull it off," TechCrunch quoted a Hippo Insurance spokesperson as saying.

Users can download the 'Away mode' on skills on Amazon app, but it's only available in select markets. Once installed, users can invoke it by audio command — 'Alexa, run Away Mode'. This feature will work only for a short-term and cannot be set for a whole day or week.

As far as the conversation templates are concerned, it is said to offer lively interactions between mother and daughter instructing on how to assemble IKEA furniture, two board game players with real arguments and several other discussions with people related to contemporary issues.

Have you tried Amazon Echo's new 'Away Mode' skill? Share your thoughts in the comments section.