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How to use your Amazon Echo Show as a home security camera

The camera in Amazon’s smart display is for more than just video calls

echo show 10
(Image: © Amazon)

The best home security cameras are a great way to check in on your property when you’re not at home to ensure everything is as it should be. But they can be a pricey purchase, especially if you’ll require several cameras dotted around your home.

However, if you have an Amazon Echo Show smart display in your home, then you can use its built-in camera – usually used for video calls – as a home security camera. The Home Monitoring feature as it is known was initially only available on the Amazon Echo Show 10, which went on sale in February 2021. Soon after, however, Amazon made it available on its smaller smart displays, namely the Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and the Echo Spot. The feature will also be available on the newest smart displays, the Echo Show 5 (2021) and the Echo Show 8 (2021), which are due to go on sale imminently.  

Here’s everything you need to know about using your Echo Show as a smart home security camera.  

What does the Echo Show home monitoring feature do?  

The Home Monitoring feature lets you view the live feed from any Echo Show’s camera in your home on another Echo Show, or via the Alexa app on your phone. It works in much the same way as a drop-in call, just without video on your face in the top right-hand corner. You can also use an Alexa-enabled Fire TV  device and view the footage on your TV. 

If you have an Echo Show 10, which has a rotating screen, you can swipe left and right on the phone screen to get the camera to rotate. However, there are some limitations. Unlike the best home security cameras, the Echo Show won't alert you when motion has been detected in the camera’s field of view. In addition, the cameras won’t record footage to be reviewed at a later date – this is purely a live stream function.

How to use Home Monitoring on an Echo Show? 

To start, you’ll need to enable the Home Monitoring feature on your Echo Show. Swipe down from the top of the screen and select Settings, followed by Camera. Now use the slider next to Home Monitoring to turn the function on.

If you want to use a smartphone or tablet to view a live feed from the Echo Show, open the Alexa app and select Cameras from the top of the screen. A list of Alexa-enabled security cameras in your home will be displayed – select the Echo Show from the list and the live feed will begin. The microphone and speaker are muted by default in the app; just tap the on-screen icons to activate these, so you can converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view, while you can pinch the image to zoom in or out of the video. 

An alert will be displayed on the Echo Show to warn anyone in the home that the feed from the camera is being viewed. Pressing Stop on the left-hand side of the alert will stop the live feed straight away. 

To use another Echo Show or Echo Spot, or a Fire TV device connected to a TV, just say “Alexa, show me the…” followed by the name of the device whose camera feed you wish to view. It will be displayed on the Echo’s screen or your TV. Again, you can pinch to zoom, and you’ll need to activate the microphone if you want to converse with someone (although this isn’t available when using a Fire TV).