Skip to main content

How to enable Alexa person and package announcements on an Echo speaker

You may already be used to telling your Alexa smart speaker what to do: play your Spotify playlist, set a timer for the hard-boiled eggs, turn on your smart lights. But you might not know that the voice assistant has a number of proactive features — things it can do without being prompted.

One such feature is having an Amazon Echo speaker announce when motion is detected on a compatible security camera. Motion announcements work on a large number of Alexa-compatible cameras and, as of last week, that includes Google Nest’s newest cameras. But now, thanks to a recent update, Echo speakers can also announce when a smart camera sees a person or, on some devices, a package. Plus, it can also automatically show a live feed from that security camera on any Echo Show device, so you can take a look without having to do or say anything.

Person and package detection is currently limited to certain models from Ring, with support for cameras from Google Nest and Abode coming soon (see sidebar below). Regardless of which camera you have, the steps to enable the announcement features are the same.

Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge
Alexa can now make an announcement when your Ring security cameras and doorbell cameras see a person. Integration with cameras from Google Nest and Abode is coming soon.

Echo Dot (4th Gen, 2020 release) | Smart speaker with Alexa | Charcoal

price: $49.99

Alexa and Echo devices are built with multiple layers of privacy protection...

Set up Alexa person and package announcements

Before you can enable this feature, you will also need to have at least one Echo smart speaker or smart display, an Amazon Alexa account, and have activated the Alexa skill for your camera. You will also need person and / or package detection enabled on your compatible camera. This may require paying for a subscription to the camera manufacturer, for example, Ring cameras require a Ring Protect Plan starting at $3 a month.

  • Open the Alexa smartphone app
  • Tap Devices
  • Scroll through the list at the top of the app and select Cameras
  • Select the camera that you want to detect the person and / or package
  • Tap the Settings icon on the top right-hand corner
  • Under Camera Events, toggle on Person Detection Announcements and/or Package Detection Announcements (if it’s an option)
  • Tip: Tap Camera Events Settings > Person Detection > Cameras to quickly enable the feature on all compatible cameras you have
Steps to enable person and / or package detection in the Alexa app.
  • To select which Echo device(s) in your home makes the announcement, go to the same settings page and tap Announcement Devices
  • Select which Echo speaker or display you want to make the announcement. You can select more than one. If you select a smart display, it will pull up a live feed from the camera as well as make the announcement.

You can use an announcement as a trigger for an Alexa Routine — so, for example, you can have the porch light turn on when the camera detects a person. Ring cameras also have the option to see a timeline of all the events that triggered an announcement and review them — you can find the feature on the camera’s page in the Alexa app.

Popular posts from this blog

Twitter has hidden the chronological feed on iOS again – and I'm furious

In a controversial move, Twitter has brought back a feature that removes the 'Latest Tweets' view for users on iOS, which is something that many users, including me, hated back in March 2022 – and it's now rolling out. The first time the company decided to do this, 'Home' would appear first in a tab at the top, and there was no way of changing it so that 'Latest Tweets' would be the default view. It was reverted back after the company said it was a 'bug' for iOS users. This time though, it's no bug. Instead, it's 'For You' and 'Following' where you can only swipe between them now, which doesn't make much sense for a platform where you're using the platform to keep up to date with who you follow. It's a bizarre change that makes me ask – who wants this, especially during a time when its new owner, Elon Musk, is bringing in and reversing changes almost every week still? This one change will have big consequenc

This new Linux malware floods machines with cryptominers and DDoS bots

Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a new Linux malware downloader that targets poorly defended Linux servers with cryptocurrency miners and DDoS IRC bots. Researchers from ASEC discovered the attack after the Shell Script Compiler (SHC) used to create the downloader was uploaded to VirusTotal. Apparently, Korean users were the ones uploading the SHC, and it’s Korean users who are targets, as well. Further analysis has shown that the threat actors are going after poorly defended Linux servers, brute-forcing their way into administrator accounts over SSH.  Mining Monero Once they make their way in, they’ll either install a cryptocurrency miner, or a DDoS IRC bot. The miner being deployed is XMRig, arguably the most popular cryptocurrency miner among hackers. It uses the computing power of a victim's endpoints to generate Monero, a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency whose transactions are seemingly impossible to track, and whose users are allegedly impossible to identify. Fo

Port of Lisbon hit by ransomware attack

One of Europe’s busiest seaports, the Port of Lisbon, has been hit with a ransomware attack that knocked some of its digital systems offline. "All safety protocols and response measures provided for this type of occurrence were quickly activated, the situation being monitored by the National Cybersecurity Center and the Judicial Police," a statement shared by the Port of Lisbon Administration (APL) with local media earlier this week said. The incident failed to impact the port’s operations, but did take its official website, portodelisboa.pt, offline. LockBit taking responsibility "The Port of Lisbon Administration is working permanently and closely with all competent entities in order to guarantee the security of the systems and respective data," the statement concludes. While the company doesn’t explicitly say it was targeted with ransomware, the LockBit ransomware operator has added APL to its leaks website, taking responsibility for the hit.  The databas

Code-generating tools could be more of a security hindrance than help

New research by a group of Stanford-affiliated researchers has uncovered that code-generating AI tools such as Github Copilot can present more security risks than many users may realize. The study looked specifically at Codex, a product of OpenAI, of which Elon Musk is among the co-founders.  Codex powers the Microsoft-owned GitHub Copilot platform, which is designed to make coding easier and more accessible by translating natural language into code and suggesting changes based on contextual evidence. AI-coding problems Lead co-author of the study, Neil Perry, explains that “code-generating systems are currently not a replacement for human developers”. The study asked 47 developers of differing abilities to use Codex for security-related problems, using Python, JavaScript and C programming languages. It concluded that the participants who relied on Codex were more likely to write insecure code compared with a control group. Read more > These are the best laptops for progr