Science

Smart Home Speaker Alerts Police To Domestic Assault

Smart Home Speaker Alerts Police To Domestic Assault”

Police say that Eduardo Barros was house-sitting at the residence with his girlfriend and their daughter.

Authorities lauded the smart home device, which ABC News originally identified as a Google Home, for potentially playing a life-saving role in the situation. Barros allegedly pulled a gun on his girlfriend when they got into an argument and asked her: "Did you call the sheriffs?"

Earlier reports said that the smart speaker involved in this story was a Google Home unit, but later versions removed any reference to a specific model. Her daughter was not injured.

We know how useful smart speakers can be. A crisis negotiation team and a SWAT team were sent out to the home and Barros was taken into custody after an hours-long stand-off.

"This awesome 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.

According to court documents obtained by 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. "This incredible technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation", Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales II told ABC News in a statement.

While the concept of your smart speaker calling in the authorities whenever it believes a crime has been committed is almost-certainly something privacy advocates will have to grapple with in the future, it's important to note that the smart speaker in this case called the police accidentally rather than deliberately. In the past, speakers could be triggered by phrases heard on nearby TVs to make purchases and bill them to their owners accounts, though companies like Amazon have taken steps to patch these bugs.

Amazon has also been tied to a murder case in Arkansas where an Echo speaker has been tabbed as a potential source of evidence. Amazon finally relented to handing over the data when Bates, who pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, allowed for the release.



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